I have been drawing and painting since early childhood and I still get great pleasure and satisfaction from it. Mostly, I paint with oil paints and a palette knife to get a rich, thick, colorful, textured representation of the subjects I paint. This creates a distinctive style that uses exaggerated perspectives and competing scales to create scenes which keep the viewer visually engaged. Implication, imperfection, and suggestion in a painting allow the viewer the fun of visually completing the work.
The creative challenge for me is in finding that magical place basically in the center of the realism-to-abstract spectrum. The goal is to accurately represent the subject so it is recognizable, like a simple forest scene, while also creating an exciting abstracted view of it. A dynamic painting is about the "and" of contrast: representational and abstract, thick paint and thin paint, a color and its complementary color, the draw to view details from up-close and the desire to understand the whole from a distance. This dynamic keeps the viewer engaged while the viewing brain and body try to work through it all to make sense of the painting, both literally and emotionally. If that magical center is found, the viewer will never tire of the work because the brain can never categorize it in such a way as to leave it alone, and hopefully there is always an accompanying emotional reaction to the work that is never necessarily the same, even as we come back to see it again and again.
Seldom do I have a finished product in mind when I start a painting. I set out on the creative journey, and go where the process takes me, trying to create an abstracted view of the subjects I see.
The biggest thrill is when viewers like my work.
My dad, UCA Professor Emeritus Gene Hatfield, was a prolific experimental sculptor and painter and an accomplished watercolorist who painted hundreds of watercolors on location mostly in northern France. This one of the Church Square in my mom's home town of Montreuil-Sur-Mer I painted along side him when I was 10.
Learn more about Gene and his life's works at his site: genehatfield.com