Don Haggerty


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Don Haggerty, artist

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Artkipedia Artist Interview with Don Haggerty


Don Haggerty's work is represented
by the following galleries

Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park
2345 Blanche Way
Camano Island, WA 98282

Open weekends 10:00am to 5:00pm
Weekdays by appointment






















        Copyright © 2014 Don Haggerty

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Why Do I Paint?

I paint because I love magic. And I love to watch it in the making. It begins with a gift from “somewhere”. Call it The Muse, or The Source, or God, or The Universe. Whomever or wherever that “somewhere” is, that’s where my art comes from.

     The Gift.
     What does it take to receive?
     Open hands.
     An open heart.
     A mind cleared of clutter.
     Belief in mystery.
     Selfless wonder.
     A brush.
     A ready canvas.

My Influences

Through frequent visits to museums and galleries, as well as through personal study, I’ve been highly influenced by the works of Monet, Klimt, N.C. Wyeth, J.W. Waterhouse, Bill Cumming and John Singer Sargent. Also included in my repertoire of influences are Asian brush painters, Australian dot painters, sculptors such as Alexander Calder and Henry Moore, as well as artists like Marcel Duchamp and the Abstract Expressionist painters. It’s been through the works and ideas of such artists that I, in turn, have gained permission to create freely in my own style.

I’ve also learned much about painting and the art life from the writings of such great teachers as Robert Henri (The Art Spirit), Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way), David Bayles and Ted Orland (Art and Fear), Charles Hawthorne (Hawthorne on Painting) and Osvald Siren (The Chinese on the Art of Painting).

And certainly, growing up in Taiwan (1957-1970) has played significantly in the art I make to this day.  It was there that the deep appreciation was born and nurtured that I feel today for the beauty and power of a finely executed brush stroke.

          Like life--
     It's a mystery.

My Approach

I paint subjects I feel passionate about.  The passion may be sparked by a single compositional element, or perhaps a gesture, or the dancing line of a twisted torso.  These are the gifts I speak of.

And after receipt of the gift and the discipline of starting a painting, knowing when to say “finished” is perhaps the most important decision I have to make.  The point of “finished” is different for every painting.  I love the quote,

Judging a Manet from the point of view of Bouguereau the Manet has not been finished.  Judging a Bouguereau from the point of view of Manet the Bouguereau has not been begun.  (from Robert Henri’s, The Art Spirit)

I work from a simple palette and in a simple studio environment.  Rather than using an easel, a canvas hung by a couple of screws directly on my studio wall suits me fine.  A simple approach seems to make an elegant outcome that much greater a reward!

     Unless the wand is waved,
          Can there be magic?
     Unless the paint is squeezed,
          And the brush is dipped,
     No surprises await you.

                                              -- Don Haggerty, Artist