Artist Al Haag
Growing up in the western states of California, Oregon, and Nevada, painter Al Haag developed an abiding love for the diversity and beauty of nature at an early age. Descending from a rich artistic heritage of German-Russian painters and musicians, his forebear Carl Haag was court artist to Queen Elizabeth in the 1800s and murals painted by his great grandfather Johann Haag still hang in churches in the Midwest. While growing up in Santa Barbara, California he can remember his father painting wonderful seascapes on masonite panels as well as being influenced by his mother’s teaching and appreciation of great classical painters, sculptors and European literature. This strong family heritage, a broad exposure to varying landscapes, and his innate artistic ability grew into an abiding interest in drawing and water colors through his school years. His passion for painting continued while he completed a B.S. degree in Structural Engineering in 1980. Although more than a decade of business pursuits in the aerospace and engineering fields brought him success, Haag knew that the creativity he longed to express was not in the office. However, as if by fate, his engineering vocation allowed him the opportunity to travel to over 40 countries and to see many of the worlds great museums and works of art. This exposure to many of the master artists provided a unique education and motivation for his art. Al Haags determination to paint, especially plein air work, resulted in successive first place awards for his oil paintings at the Inter-mountain Society of Artists Show in the late 1980s as well as awards at the Utah State Fair and Salt Lake City annual juried shows. On a national level he was a finalist in the competitive Arts for the Parks juried exhibition in both 1990 and 1992. He was awarded honors at the Montana Historical Society exhibition and was invited as a guest artist for the C.M. Russell Auction of Western Art. Most recently, he was juried into the 2004 Spring Salon Show at Utahs prestigious Springville Museum of Art. His paintings hang in private collections in the United States and abroad. Over the last decade his work has been represented in galleries in Montana, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Arizona and California. The family ranch in southern Montana and his Utah studio with views of the Wasatch mountains makes good base camps for his many painting field trips throughout the country, including Canada and Mexico, and provide a constant source of inspiration. Although his subject matter may vary, from the wilderness of our national parks, to the colorful canyons and deserts of the Southwest, to the changing moods of both coastlines, Haag comments that, the subject itself is really secondary to the beauty and emotional impact that I want to convey in every painting. And since painting is essentially a visual experience, Al Haag hesitates to verbalize his art. He simply feels that a good painting must evoke a mood, it should stir personal feelings, and must be pleasing to both the viewers eye and soul. An artists emotion and vision must be mixed into the physical paint to create something of lasting beauty. It should not be a copy. A painting, no matter how accurately rendered, that does not evoke a mood, is not fine art. My simple desire is to create such a mood with each and every painting I do.