“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.” — RH
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, NY; RJD Gallery in Sag Harbor, the Water Mill Museum, Pamela Williams Gallery in Amagansett, NY; Guild Hall and folioeast in 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.
rotating exhibit of current & recently sold paintings
RJT HAYNES speaks to folioeast’s COCO MYERS
CM/ WHAT MEDIA ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING IN?
RH/ Oils, watercolor, pastel, charcoal, colored pencil, graphite, ink; various combinations of the above. I like to switch media, subjects, styles—it's only a journey if you're moving.
CM/ ANY PARTICULAR TECHNIQUES YOU USE WHEN CREATING?
RH/ Good drawing is key; I never use preliminary sketches or drawing aids, but work freehand, directly on the final canvas or paper, adjusting forms along the way—changes may be visible in the finished work. I often work in series, exploring colors, textures, forms, emotional resonances, as the theme develops. It's important to let the subject and materials have a say in the outcome, but I don't focus much on techniques per se.
CM/ YOU ARE FROM ENGLAND AND SPEND A LOT OF TIME THERE. HOW DO YOU RELATE TO THE EAST END?
RH/ It's interesting to see the Atlantic from both shores. Where I live, in Cornwall, the seasons are less extreme; there’s no real winter, and (some would say) no real summer either, and it's green all year. The East End is all blue and gold in the summer, and much more muted in winter. I like the transition of winter to spring and summer to autumn best: the change of energy in the air.
CM/ DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE SPOTS ON THE EAST END?
RH/ My friends have a catboat on Three Mile Harbor—a good place to end a summer's day. The Springs General Store is a good place to start one.
PORTFOLIO OVERVIEW of paintings
rotating exhibit of current & recently sold drawings