20 x 16 in.
Pastel on board, 2020
Available through Great American Paint-In
Ray Hassard grew up in the New York City area and studied at Pratt Institute. He moved to Buffalo, New York, in 1977 where he won several commissions, most notably one to create and install a large wall piece for the subway the city was building. In 1985 he relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he began painting en plein air.
Of Morning Light he says “For many years, I have painted at a nearby farm in Cincinnati. The farm is very large, with several ponds and acres of fruit trees. Ron, the farmer, has always been very welcoming and allowed me to bring artist friends and even classes there to paint. At all times of the year, it is one of the most beautiful places I know, and I consider it one of my “spiritual homes.”
“2020, of course, was rocked in March by the pandemic and lockdown. Right from the start, some artist friends and I decided to get out and paint at least once a week. We began at the farm, knowing it was private property and large enough for distancing ourselves. On our second visit there, I wanted to talk to Ron about future painting plans. I saw him go inside the small building that serves as the produce outlet during the summer, so I followed him in.
“As we talked about the future in the dark, empty store, sunlight suddenly streamed in through the rear door and onto the back wall. Aside from the beauty of the colors and the light itself, it seemed like a good sign, an omen of light in the darkness (literally), and hope. I took a few photos quickly; then the light moved on and disappeared rapidly. I showed the photos to my friends, and one said, “You should paint that!”
“Morning Light was done in my studio from those photos and from the memory of that moment. As the pandemic and lockdown continued, we returned to the farm to paint the fruit trees in bloom and later, summer’s lush bounty. I do believe that getting away from all the gruesome news kept us all on a more even keel through the year. We always felt a peaceful contentment in being painting there.”
Morning Light was accepted into The Great American Paint-In shortly after completion and is available there.
Ray’s primary medium is pastel, but he also works in oil, acrylic, gouache and has played around with casein this year.
Ray is a Signature member of the Cincinnati Art Club, National Oil and Acrylic Painters Society (NOAPS), and the Pastel Society of America. He is a charter member of the Ohio Plein Air Society. In 2019 he was named Eminent Pastellist by the International Association of Pastel Societies (IAPS).
He has been a finalist in the Art Renewal Center’s annual Salon for the past 5 years.
For the past 10 years he has participated in many plein air competitions around the country and won top awards at San Angelo, Texas; Richmond, Virginia; and New Harmony, Indiana.
Please visit www.rayhassard.com where you are invited to sign up for Ray’s newsletter and to see his most recent work as well as archived pieces.