Windy Day, Central Florida
Acrylic on panel
12 x 24 inches
Signed Lower Right
Ray Hassard was born and raised in the New York area. Growing up, he attended Saturday classes at the Museum of Modern Art, and took community education art classes at local schools and art organizations. He studied at Pratt Institute, and, more importantly, spent hours and hours at New York's wonderful museums and galleries. Ray moved to Buffalo NY in 1977, where he was awarded several commissions, including one for a 45 foot long wall piece in the subway system the city was building. In 1985, he and his partner came to Cincinnati and became co-owners and publishers ofAmerican Record Guide, a classical music CD review magazine.
Ray teaches pastels and oils at the Women's Art Club in Cincinnati. He belongs to the Ohio Plein Air Society, Oil Painters of America, Indiana Plein Air Painters Association, and is a signature member of the Cincinnati Art Club. He was awarded signature and Master Pastellist status by the MidAmerica Pastel Society in 2008, and served on the Board of the Ohio Plein Air Society for two terms. He was given Signature Member status by the Pastel Society of America in 2011, and given Master Circle status by the International Association of Pastel Societies in 2014.
Besides art, Ray's major interests include contra dancing, roller coasters, and travel. He has visited over 75 countries, with India being his favorite. Three painting trips there with friend and fellow artist Debra Joyce Dawson led to a joint show of their paintings of India and Bhutan at the Richmond Art Museum in January 2010. In that same year Ray painted in Spain, France and Croatia.
I love to paint stuff that looks like stuff, and I love to paint the stuff that interests me.
That’s the short of it, the longer is that as a realist/impressionist painter in the tradition of Sargent, Sorolla, and Zorn I am concerned with painting the world around me in a representational way. Early on, in the 1970s and 80s, my style was photorealist. Once I began painting en plein air in the 90s, that changed dramatically, and I continue to evolve away from the “"objectivity”" of photography as I move deeper into the “subjectivity” of emotional response to place. I take special delight in finding the beautiful, meaningful, and fascinating aspects of what most people find mundane and commonplace in the world.