Max Hayslette was born in Rupert, West Virginia in 1930. He began his formal art studies at the American Academy and completed them at the Art Institute of Chicago where he worked closely with Alexander Archipenko and Egon Weiner.
“The act of making art, whether it is painting or printmaking, is exciting to me”, says Hayslette. “When I am not sketching for a piece or actually painting it, I’m developing new printmaking techniques.”
Hayslette’s second love is travel and most of his work reflects an area of the world with which he has been particularly fascinated. In recent years, Hayslette has spent most of his traveling time in Asia and the Mediterranean, always with sketchbook in hand.
Hayslette was so inspired by his latest trip to China and Japan that he has created a similar environment for himself right here in the United States. Hayslette designed a Japanese pagoda for use as his studio space. Nestled among the trees in a rural area of Washington state, it is here that the artist has surrounded himself with the things he loves most: a series of ponds with koi swimming about, waterfalls, bridges, and a teahouse for private meditations.
As an artist, he chooses to explore a wide variety of images and styles, and though his images and palettes may vary, his approach to the work does not. “I take a design approach to creating my work and like most designers, I use a lot of paper first.” He begins by making a full-scale pencil sketch on paper and even prepares colour studies before launching into a piece. “Some artists can just sit down and be happy with whatever happens. When I begin a painting or a print, I don’t leave many unanswered questions.”
Hayslette has exhibited widely, is represented in over 300 private and corporate collections, and is the recipient of several national awards.