William Hamilton Hays was born in Alexandria, Virginia (US) 1956. He worked in watercolor and oils from the time he was 15 years old. His mastery of oil paintings gradually gave way to printmaking after beginning explorations in linocut printing in 2007. By 2012 he had devoted his efforts solely into linocut and woodcut prints.
William's first solo exhibition was in Anchorage, Alaska in 1980. His watercolors were a hit and he has been showing his artwork continuously since then. In 1990, he opened The Artist's Loft Fine Art Gallery in Brattleboro, Vermont, adjoining his studio. There he worked until 2015 when he closed the gallery and moved his studio into his home.
Although his second degree (the first is a BA in Geography) is in fine art (BFA, Sculpture), his printmaking skills are entirely self taught. His late wife, Patricia suggested that he offer some artwork that would allow his customers something more affordable than an oil painting. In 2007 she purchased simple materials for linocut printing for his birthday and William began printing, rubbing each impression with a steel spoon, by hand.
By 2012 Hays found that he had gradually become a printmaker rather than a painter. He began showing his prints in galleries and switched his career to printmaking exclusively. Since then his work has been singled out for a variety of juried exhibitions and awards throughout the United States. For more information, take a look at William's curriculum vitae (CV).
"Landscape is the foundation of my inspiration. I often work more from memory or an impression than from a particular place. The compositions are the framework on which I hang a sequence of layered colors in rhythmic patterns to create a mood and a harmonious image. Using reduction printing techniques and, often, multiple blocks allows me a level of complexity that suits my drive to create artworks which evoke my imaginings, my experiences, my creations.
The technical challenges and severe limitations of the medium have become a part of my natural vocabulary over time. I have become very fluid in that I frequently change aspects of my original design as I go along. I'll sometimes add additional blocks as I progress. The process of carving and printing an edition offers me much meditative time to consider every aspect of each print as I am working. Most of the decisions about color are made during this time according to what has come before in the sequence of printing."