About Ben Haggett

I live and work in Missoula, Montana.  I look like this:

IMG_1013

At least I do when I’m on vacation.  Otherwise I scowl a lot.

Usually I can be found in my shop, building pochade boxes (www.allaprimapochade.com).  But this blog is about paintings I make, not the paintboxes.  I work primarily in oils, but I like to play around with acrylics, sometimes pastels, and lately with painting on my iphone or ipad.  Landscapes, still life, figures–I like them all, but landscape is what I do more of than anything else.  Usually when doing landscape I work on location, en plein air, but I’m not dogmatic–I’ll work from a good photo sometimes.  But since I paint mostly for fun, working outside is much more appealing.

Lately I’ve been thinking about why I paint. Often you hear artists speak about “capturing the image”, as if it were sort of visual hunting. But I don’t feel that, really. I guess for me it’s an act of love. Sometimes I don’t care for human beings too much, at least in the abstract, but I do love the world and the beings in it. Trees, stones, water, mountains, clouds–to me these are beings also. We are all in the world together, in the same light. Painting is how I try to recognize my essential connection with them. It’s hard. The wordy brain gets in the way. By looking at things for an hour, I try to turn down the volume of that thinking, planning, worrying mind, and just see things as they are, through these eyes, in this way, through these moments one after another that finally condense into one image. It’s just an image, yet I hope each one changes me just a little bit, and wears down the imaginary wall between me and the world. Sometimes the images are satisfying, sometimes less so, but more and more I find I don’t care that much. Eventually I won’t care at all, and then I’ll be a real painter.

Hope you enjoy your visit!

17 thoughts on “About Ben Haggett

  1. Way to go Ben. I’m so glad you are doing this present-tense thing; paintandshow. For one I like seeing what you are up to in the painting world and it keeps you current. Sure do like the cut lemons!
    Love,
    Mom

  2. Hi Ben,
    Tom Dwyer sent me your link. I have one of your pochade boxes and have put it to good use, you may recall. I like what you say about painting taking priority but it certainly has with me and life is good. Maybe we’ll meet some day if you are ever down here in Ventura.
    best regards,
    Steve Cook

  3. Ben,
    So good to read about what you are up to these days. Love the work you did on the trip to Zion I still have 70 bus if the Westy gives up the ghost!

  4. Hi Ben,
    Wish I had found your site a few months ago. I was visiting Missoula, and would have loved to see your work! No wonder painting takes priority–Montana is exquisite. Getting ready to order a couple of boxes, one for me and one for my daughter–can’t wait!

  5. Hello Ben,
    Your work is beautiful. The landscapes are so fresh and true; they evoke wonderful memories of tramping around northwest Montana many years ago. I hope you can spend more time painting and less time building paintboxes……after you build mine, that is!

  6. Ben,

    How often do people find how to define their work, or themselves? It seems you have, and I am continually awed by what appears to be your direct essence. Oh, and the phone sketches are great, but the latest oil is even better.

    Joe

    • Thanks Joe–I feel like I’m pretty much just fumbling along most of the time, the standard operating program of being human I suppose. Painting is part of that fumbling around in the dark, trying to find a match to strike a feeble light, get a little fire going to ward off the cold. Sharing paintings and having people respond to them in some way is warming too, thanks for that…

    • Hi Charles, I most often use the ArtRage app… Do you mean what brush within the app, or which stylus? If app brush, mostly the oil brush, or the pastel/chalk. If stylus, ifaraday works well for me.

  7. Ben,
    I have one of your pochade boxes; it works great! For several years I have been checking out your paintings. I always enjoy what I see. Thanks for sharing. I also, very much, appreciate your humble honesty.

  8. Thanks David, glad you enjoy painting with your box, and thanks for visiting—time to paint has been in very short supply, so thanks for the encouragement to actually sketch a little from time to time!

  9. Wow what a kool list of artists and their kind respect & thoughts.
    For 35 yrs I’ve been drawing on location in New York but what to “paint ” a lot more out side now heading to the St. Lucia to paint dec 22- jan 22 can’t wait to just mix paint and stare at a tree trunk,odd flower or cold beer who’s in St Lucia who wants to paint with my cousin david beckett & I !!! I need a Ben Box !!

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