We had the good fortune of connecting with Haley Hasler and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Haley, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Working the daily running-of-a household into the private contemplative world of the painter can be a challenge for many artists. For me, the two worlds have always melded together. Since I paint about my daily life, and I paint portraits of the people who inhabit it, you could say that the work-life balance is my subject.
This is not to say it is easy! As a young person, just starting out and with high ambition, I pushed nearly everything aside to make room for learning the craft of painting. This was probably necessary in such a competitive field, and probably accounts for any success I have had.
Certainly the drive to paint, and the satisfaction and interest I take in the activity itself, accounts for continuing at it.
Today, I take a more holistic approach. It has taken me years to get here, and time has brought some dramatic life changes – but now I see the value in experiencing more and working less. And this has benefited my art.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I want to tell stories in painting. I want to tell stories that people relate to. Often the stories that have the most resonance are the same stories human beings have been telling since the very beginning of language and art: stories about journeys, about transformation, about growing up and growing old. Partly because I am a woman painting in the twenty-first century, I tell these stories in a new way. Partly, what sets my stories and paintings apart is that they are so personal. The most challenging problem I face, as a painter, is how to dig out the inner word and convey it- share it- in way that goes beyond the mere private and personal, and reaches the consciousness of another. It has to be a story that reaches out and speaks to others.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Fort Collins, where I was born and raised, is a wonderful little city. I’d take a friend on hike at Lory State Park to show her the western landscape and the foothills, especially if this friend wasn’t from the West. Horsetooth Reservoir and the foothills surrounding it make for a lovey walk with views over Fort Collins. Hiking up to Arthur’s Rock, where I played as a kid, offers the kind of Colorado Hike that any visitor would appreciate, with valleys, views, rocks, and a creek – just 15 minutes from downtown.
On the way home we might go to Vern’s for their famous cinnamon rolls, which I’ve been eating since about 1982.
The best pie and coffee is at Ginger Baker.
If she had a budget for a cute new outfit- Tula is the place. The owner, Kate Hannah, creates many of her own designs. She dressed me stunningly for my opening reception at the Fort Collins Museum of art a couple years ago. And of course we’d go visit the Fort Collins Museum of Art, to see what my friend, the museum director Lisa Hatchadoorian, has up in the galleries.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My children: Leander, Audra, and Arno. They support their mother, the artist. Their mother is not often found baking in the kitchen. Her housework leaves something to be desired. The laundry piles up. But this mother was blessed with three empathatic and independent kids. These kids can make their own breakfast and get themselves out the door to school on time. They can make dinner for themselves and each other. They know what painting means to their mother, and they support her work and passion. Ultimately, their mother hopes their upbringing by an artist mother makes them more thoughtful, compassionate, creative and curious human beings.
Facebook: Haley Hasler