We at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop want to celebrate our visual arts friends this summer with a peek into their work or studio spaces on Instagram. We are curious about the spaces and rituals that give rise to creation. Do folks leave home to go work in a studio, or clear a corner of the kitchen table? Is the creative space a physical one, or perhaps a set of tools that signal it’s time to make art. Read the full length features and follow us on Instagram @chawindc to meet and learn about some of our favorite, local artists.
This week we’re featuring CHAW community member Danny Haas. Follow him on Instagram at @danielhaasart
The idea about my work in Ceramics is that I love to combine creativity along with a craft. I do a design and I fill in the spaces with color. I am inspired of course by Picasso and the distortion of the face.
This is a drawing that is quite large format for me, 18 by 24 inches. There are a bunch of faces all agitated I’d done when Trump was still president. It was also during the height of Covid. When most people were isolating, I wanted to do a drawing of a crowd of people. I like to overlap them, face them in different directions, put some faces on top of others and some in front, some behind and some sideways. They intertwine, but there are always single people that are angry and fighting for space. They are mostly male faces, I have no idea why other than that I did numerous self portraits in college and maybe that is leftover from them. I like to use different grays and blacks with slight variations in tone so some pop out and some faces recede. I guess it is a reflection of overcrowding in this world.
For my current painting style it is probably a culmination of many years of working in watercolor in both abstract and figurative periods. Even though this painting looks abstract it is not. It is done by squares. This one is 14 by 20 inches, so 70 different squares. I wet the paper 2 inches by 2 inches at a time with a theme. I like to think of busts on a pedestal without faces, so I think of nature and make a form in yellow or orange, leaving space in the middle to bleed a dark purple or do the opposite and bleed a light color into dark. This sometimes produces hidden faces. I love the effect of colors bleeding into each other yet still being controlled chaos. It always ends in the square. No square bleeds into the next. I repeat colors, but rarely one above the other, so the same colors pop up in different rows in different places. That gives it some uniformity, yet it is not repetitive. These can take 8 hours, but I am always in control. I like to think of the heads a little like Daumier busts. I use pure colors with no mixing and never watered down.
These are three photos of my current tile project.