My friend and fellow artist, Jaime Haney, and I thought it would be fun to interview each other about our journey in art making. I love Jaime’s beautiful and colorful paintings; She’s always creating something new and exciting and I can’t wait to see what she does next. I am thrilled to offer you the interview below. You can read my interview on her blog here.
Jaime surrounded by her gorgeous paintings
When did you realize you wanted to be a painter?
I’ve been an artist all my life and I don’t really remember a time when I wasn’t one. It truly is how I’ve identified myself all of my life. I was always encouraged by my parents to create and express myself from the beginning. My mother was always creative and my father made his living as an artist. When I was a teen, I preferred to illustrate mostly. I experimented in photography for a short time. It seemed like common knowledge that fine art wasn’t a profitable avenue to take so I went into graphic design. While it was a creative outlet, I still would draw and create things in my off hours. A few years after the birth of my son, about 2011, I felt the urge to pick up the paintbrush and I’ve been painting ever since. It’s been very rewarding and frustrating at the same time.
Where do you find inspiration for your paintings?
Oh my, where don’t I find inspiration?! Seriously, inspiration comes to me in so many forms. It comes in dreams, A lot of times I am painting in my dreams. It comes from my day dreams and even while I drive or shower. It comes from my many lush gardens I tend – the shadows of a clump of plants, the brilliant colored flower petals. Inspiration comes from the natural world around me, like the woods behind my house where I like to walk, explore… and get inspired. Watching TV, I may get inspired by a face or a place – many times I’ve paused the program and snapped a photo because I was inspired by the look on a face or slight smile or curve of a neck. The way a woman’s eyes look away with melancholy. Music deeply inspires me and has been the source of many paintings including titles for paintings. Writings and poems inspire me. There really isn’t a time I’m not inspired. I am constantly painting in my mind… how would that song look if I were to paint it? I’m never at a loss for inspiration – it is literally everywhere.
“Mystical Mother Nature” by Jaime Haney
How do you describe your style?
I’ve had my work described as Fauvism – I’m sure because of the strong color I use. But I would describe my style as more Post Impressionistic. While my paintings are somewhat realistic in their stylings, I’m not concerned with photo realism. I prefer there to be acknowledgment that my hand made the art, imperfections and all. I hope to evoke to the viewer the feeling I’m experiencing from my subjects whether they’re made up in my imagination or from real life. There’s a certain darkness to my work, whether that’s seen or just felt. I’m not really a light and airy type of painter, I love to inject a little mystique to my work… a nod to the supernatural even.
Who influences you?
I can’t really say that I’m influenced by any certain artist as I’m not well versed in art history. However, I am familiar with past artists like Frida Khalo, Henri Rousseau, Leonora Carrington, Georgia O’Keeffe, Dorothea Tanning and Gustav Klimt. I like their paintings very much and might go as far as to say their work influences me but maybe it’s just because we like similar subjects or colors, I don’t know. Perhaps it’s easier to see as a viewer of my art rather than myself who influences my work.
Do you take commissions?
I do occasionally take commissions if the fit is right. The person wanting the work would of course need to enjoy my style and not ask for me to paint in a way that isn’t natural for me.
Tell me about your commission process.
For this I’m going to lead you to a web page on my site and it talks about going through a commission. https://jaimehaney.com/ever-wanted-commission-painting/
What do you find to be the most difficult step of painting a piece?
I’d have to say that would be different for each painting. However, I also will say when I start a new painting it’s almost like I’ve forgotten everything I’ve ever learned and I go through the process thinking to myself well how am I going to do that? I just have to start, many times with a rough sketch, and the painting moves on from various stages often without my knowledge of what I’ve even done. My painting process seems to incur many stages of my being lost somewhere in my mind and I love this. While on the other hand some paintings have many stages that are just awful looking and I have to reconsider what I’m doing but usually if I keep at it, I can pull it out of that dreadful stage. That is when many paintings go to rest on a ledge somewhere while I let time and sometimes dreams tell me what to do about them. The best paintings to me though are the ones that somehow appear without my realization of how they got there, it’s that wonderful land of being in the zone… as if it paints itself and I’m just the channel.
What is your favorite thing about being an artist?
Oh, so many things. I love being able to take my viewer to another world and forget their problems or just everyday goings on. Also painting or drawing what I imagine or dream, reality means nothing when I’m creating and I find that very seductive. Being able to convey a feeling or mood with the strokes of my brush. When I walk into my studio and know that no matter what I decide to paint that day I alone have control of my painted reality and that is very satisfying.
How do you know when a painting is finished?
This is a difficult question and each painting is different. Like I mentioned, my dad is an artist and we’re very close. I often ask his opinion on a painting to see if he feels it needs anything more. Many times I set aside a painting to let it simmer in my thoughts without having to make a snap decision. When I go back to it with fresh eyes, possibly something jumps out to me and I know where to go from there or decide it is finished as it can be so I sign it and it’s done. Other times I just know it’s done. Some paintings are simply abandoned and I move onto another because I’m sick of it.
How do you title your paintings?
I love to title paintings. Sometimes the name will come to me as I paint it and I’ll write it down in my studio so I don’t forget. Occasionally a song playing (or the lyrics) while I’m painting will become the title or lead to the title. My titles tend to be dramatic and deep, evoking what I’m feeling during the process of painting it. Sometimes though they simply are just what the painting is of, but more often than not I like a deeper meaning to the title.
“What Lies Beneath” by Jaime Haney
What is your work day like?
I’ll start out by saying I’m naturally a night owl but with having a son in school, that has curbed my night owl ways. I’ve always felt more creative at night but I’ve learned that as a professional artist I cannot wait on a feeling and must create my own inspiration during the hours I have available. So my work day starts when I return home from dropping my son off to school and I usually start with my computer. I check and return emails or communication with my email list. Next, I check to make sure my website is up and running and deal with that if needed. Then answer any comments I have on my blog, perhaps write a new post and eventually make my way to social media which is a very important part of my art business. Around 11:30 I eat something and then head to the art studio. I get about three and a half hours of painting in and then it’s time for my son to come home on the school bus. After this, the day just flies by. I spend some time chatting with him about his day and according to whether he wants my company or if he wants to play video games, I might get another hour in the studio before it’s time to close it up and get dinner started. After dinner, I might get back on social media for a short time to reply to comments or post more and that’s about it for my evening.
A peek inside Jaime Haney’s studio
What are your favorite subjects to paint?
There are a wide variety of subjects I like to paint. I’m an avid gardener so I enjoy painting tropical plants, gardens and flowers. But there is a bigger part of me that would rather paint abstract landscapes, making up my own world I see in my dreams and visions. Trees are always a favorite but more than anything I really like to add a sense of mystery to my paintings no matter what the subject is. Life is never boring and there are endless subjects to paint that give me pleasure. There’s usually a story associated with my painting either a true one, folklore and myth or something I’ve just made up. That’s the greatest thing about being an artist, you can make anything you want and I find my imagination is the best at creating subjects to paint.
How can people find and buy your art?
My website is http://jaimehaney.com and that is where I have an online store where my art can be purchased and I ship it out. I also host my blog on there, it’s really the best place to find me. I have a monthly email that I send out to subscribers where I offer my new paintings, art show invites and other fun things, come sign up I’d love to have you. I do have a Facebook page for my art as well as an Instagram and I’ll share them below, but since we have so little control over these social avenues and they could be pulled out from under us at any time, I’d rather have someone contact me directly via email firstname.lastname@example.org or through my website.
My Facebook page: www.facebook.com/JaimeHaneyArtist
My Instagram handle: Jaime Haney https://www.instagram.com/jaimehaney/