My wife and I were in New York City on Saturday; and while walking through Columbus Circle we came across Daniel Hauben, his French easel balanced on the edge of a fountain, painting a complex and large scale pieln air painting of a view down Eighth Avenue.
Most often, plein air painting is associated with relatively small paintings that can be finished in one session, and a short session at that given the degree to which light can change a scene in a matter of a few hours. Presumably, Hauben works on paintings of this size and complexity over the course of perhaps several days, but I was still surprised to see an artist taking on a painting like this in such a busy public space.
I asked Hauben for his card, but didn’t distract him beyond that with questions, and looked up his web site when I got home. His confidence in taking on this kind of challenge comes from over 25 years of plein air painting, largely in the Bronx, but also in other states in the U.S. as well as several other countries around the world.
Some of my favorites, though, are his richly textured and strong-hued pastel landscapes of more rural scenes. There is also a section of landscapes in oil, easy to miss as it’s only linked from the bottom of the page of pastel landscapes.
There is also a section devoted to Puerto Rican Life in the Bronx, others for portraits, world travels and September 11th, and section for graphics as well as work in bronze and oil relief paintings.
There is an interesting section outside the gallery, linked from the main navigation, for Inches From My Easel, excerpts from a series of anecdotes and stories of Hauben’s experiences over the course of painting on location for 25 years, and a section called Artist @ Work, with photographs of the artist painting on location across the Bronx and around the world.