Toby Haynes|

RJT Haynes read German & Philosophy at Oxford in the days when you could still get away with that sort of thing, before moving to a remote cottage in North Cornwall – a ruggedly beautiful part of South-west England whose unique light & landscape have informed many of his paintings.  A keen environmentalist, he worked for Britain’s largest conservation charity, The National Trust, for a number of years on real pick & shovel projects – in some of Cornwall’s most beautiful coastal & woodland areas, and in all weathers – until deciding to devote himself full-time to painting & writing.  His paintings feature in many private collections around the UK and elsewhere.

“My work is uncompromisingly figurative, but varied in stylistic treatment, content, & medium.  No picture ever turns out exactly as originally conceived: I am not in control of the process, nor would I want to be.  It’s the journey that’s interesting.  I will change my technique or the colours on my palette if it starts to feel too familiar & comfortable.  The materials & subject have a say in what becomes of them, and painting is always a form of negotiation or collaboration between us.  I’m not so much interested in fleeting impressions as in what’s underneath them: everything we see is full of cultural & personal references, just as words are to a poet; and I want to tap into that — a ‘simple’ lamb or apple is abuzz with symbolism.  But images must also ultimately have a life of their own, and make their own connection with the viewer without exegesis, independently of the artist.”