2 photos from left to right: Caleb Hahne standing in his art studio and a painting of a hand behind gauzy curtains

Paint Studio Demo Artist Caleb Hahne

Caleb Hahne will be in the Paint Studio demonstrating painting emotion noon–3 pm August 24–25 and August 31–September 1, 2019. The Paint Studio is included with general admission, which is free for members and youth 18 and under.

Caleb Hahne graduated from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in 2014. He currently lives and works in Colorado. Hahne is an artist in residence at RedLine Contemporary Art Center. His art has been included in multiple solo and group exhibitions in Denver, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Montreal, Berlin, and the United Kingdom. Hahne has been featured in New American Paintings, Juxtapoz, Hi-Fructose, and Booooooom.com. Denver Westword named Hahne one of the 100 Colorado Creatives of 2014 and one of the Top 10 Artists to watch in 2015. Wide Walls also list him as one of the top 10 contemporary artists under 40.

Laura Thompson: What will your demo at the DAM look like? What can visitors expect?

Caleb Hahne: I really want to push the visitors to focus on how drawing or painting someone they know/love from a place of feeling and less from a place of technical execution. I also plan on taking them through a little lesson on how I use underpainting and color theory to get my colors to where I want them.

LT: Your artworks tend to feature the human body. Could you provide insight into your interest in the figure?

CH: I use the figure because it's the thing that people can relate to the most. Lately, I only paint self-portraits or people I love. I treat it as a diary of sorts.

LT: Your coloration is rather emotive. Could you discuss how you choose your color palettes?

CH: My palette is usually evoked from a mood or a feeling, but I typically gravitate towards blues and their compliments.

LT: Your artworks are quite affective. Do you see your work as cuing into a specific narrative or psychological space?

CH: Definitely. Most of the people I paint are usually in a meditative space or in between a moment. Lately, when I’m making a painting I like to think about what happened before this moment or what happens when it passes. When painting, I'm usually working around a theme. Lately, I'm interested in memory, vulnerability, intimacy, the body as landscape, and where rest and trauma meet in the body. So when I'm painting or drawing, I’m usually trying to relay that through the figures and their environment.

LT: What are you thinking about when you begin a new painting? Do you decide on a specific design beforehand or do your compositions take form more organically?

CH: Drawing is the root of my practice, so usually I'll get to the studio and get my jitters out by scribbling out a few ideas. They start off as loose line drawings and then if I like one enough, I’ll draw it a few more times to see if it clicks. Other times, I'll have a series of images in my head that I just have to get out so I will just draw that and do a color version of it to see if it looks how I feel.

Images from left: Photo of Caleb Hahne. Ready, Set. Gouache, oil pastel, and oil on canvas, 8 x 10 in. Photos courtesy of the artist.

Laura Thompson is an artist and studio programs intern in the department of learning and engagement.

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