About the artist:
Born in Tennessee in 1933, Don Hazen studied engineering before turning seriously to painting. He worked under muralist Dan Chapin Ralph Bagley of the Orlando (Florida) Institute of Art, and portraitist Robert Anderson. Upon completion of his studies in the early 1960, Mr. Hazen traveled through Europe, eventually finding his "spiritual" home in Spain. He decided to make Spain his permanent home, married and settled in Alicante. Since he has now lived on the Mediterranean coast for 30 years, Don Hazen has absorbed into his psyche the brilliant sun and vibrant colors surrounding him. Bold, singing colors laid on thickly with the palette knife, envelops the semiabstract to abstract forms which Hazen employs on his canvases. Don Hazens' paintings are filled with a contagious energy and vitality generated by the hot oranges, fuchsias, cobalt, beaten gold, scarlet and emeralds, which he uses, in a kaleidoscope of light and life. Don Hazen's work has been exhibited widely in Spain and Mexico as well as in the United States. He is represented in the permanent collection of the Museum Casa de la Cultura, Guadalajara, Mexico. Don Hazen rather wryly comments that "some painters may be good art critics, but painters are seldon writers." Nevertheless, when questioned about his personal view on painting, he had the following to say: "Above all a painting must vibrate with expression. By that I mean not in the sense of a mirrored human face; I mean that the whole arrangement of the picture must be expressive. The negative forms, the space & the composition must be expressive. Color conveys the emotions and often expresses the love felt by the artist for life or for his work, which usually means the same thing. Composition, subject matter, ideals may all come from the head, but color is the feeling which comes from the heart or the soul. "When I paint, I am not trying to create an illusion; I am trying to impress upon the viewer that he is looking at a painting, something that is pain applied to a flat surface. Working with this in mind, and using board, flat forms in contrast with forms of a more plastic nature affords more freedom, which is part of the overall expression. Moving in this direction, eliminating detail, we get at the very essence of the subject." "It is not easy to explain how a painter achieves this in a work of art, but it is something all great painters seem to have in common. Part of the explanation may be that they tend to let their subconscious take over to a greater extent, which in turn alters the conscious, giving greater energy to the flow of creativity."