My father was a sign writer so I grew up surrounded by the smell of paint and turpentine. I have early memories of climbing ladders and scaffolding to help him work on rooftop signs or the paneled sides of heavy goods vehicles.
Although I went on to study German and Philosophy at Oxford, it was probably inevitable that I would end up as a painter. My work is uncompromisingly figurative, but varied in stylistic treatment, content, and medium. No picture should turn out exactly as originally conceived. I am not in control of the process, nor would I want to be. It’s the journey that’s interesting and discoveries made along the way. I will change my technique or the colors on my palette if it starts to feel too familiar and comfortable. The materials and subject have a say in what becomes of them, and painting is always a form of negotiation or collaboration between us.
I’m not so much interested in fleeting impressions as in their lasting effects, memories and echoes: everything we see is full of cultural and personal references, just as words are to a poet; and I want to tap into that — a ‘simple’ lamb or apple is abuzz with symbolism. But images must also ultimately have a life of their own, and make their own connection with the viewer without exegesis, independently of the artist.
about the arist
Toby Haynes was born in Essex, England. He now divides his time between Cornwall, New York City and East Hampton, New York. After studying at the University of Oxford, he turned to painting.
Haynes’ work is widely collected and exhibited. He has shown at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts in Bridgehampton, RJD Gallery in Sag Harbor, the Water Mill Museum, Pamela Williams Gallery in Amagansett, Guild Hall, East Hampton, the Southampton Cultural Center, and in London at the Battersea Art Fair and The Art Movement. He won consecutive awards at the East End Arts Council juried shows, from 2011-2015.