HYPERMODERN REALISM - oil paintings on wood panel and fine art giclee prints by Keith Halonen


     THIS SITE is an online portfolio of my oil paintings for your viewing pleasure.

     THIS HOMEPAGE is rarely about art. To view my art, click a gallery link top or bottom of any page. On a gallery page, click a thumbnail pic to load a full-view page for that painting. Links below a full view load other artworks from the same gallery.

     CHESS QUOTES are now in the Chess Gallery. Links top or bottom of any page.


     SPRING-SUMMER  2017  Denial, CA – I'm occasionally asked why I choose to live in Denial when California sports so many communities that are more "artist-friendly." One interview went thus...

You could live in Berkeley or Carmel or... or you'd fit right in down in Venice. So, what's with Lake County?
     Lake County isn't hostile to artists. It's just highly unlikely to shower most of us with riches. But who gets into art for the money? The fact is I'm basically asocial, not antisocial. My approach to art is intrinsically solitary. I live in the boonies because anyone contemplating a visit has to think twice before acting on impulse. I'm 40 miles from the nearest urban epicenter over hilly winding roads. Distance effectively buffers my privacy. It goes a long way to keeping my personal time sacrosanct. That's a good thing. I relish having lots of time to myself, a concept most people seem to consider barely endurable.
     But how is your time not your own? Nobody actually has control over anyone else's time.
     You'd be surprised but that is the point. No one literally wants to "steal" my time. I wouldn't expect most people to understand what it requires to be the sort of artist I've become. And it's not only about how much time it takes to produce my art. Most of my interests are intensely private. I like to read, to study chess. I actually enjoy being alone. However benign my friends' intentions happen to be, the salient fact is that they outnumber me. I just can't have people stopping by unannounced anytime they happen to be in my vicinity.


     Well, you don't have to party all the time. And if you don't want friends over all the time, you could just join Facebook and...
     Whoa! Facebook? What's the difference, really? It's not the friends themselves that are the issue; it's the collective time they have to spare that I don't! Facebook may assuage that vacuum at the center of most people's beings, but I see a massive social media black hole sucking up hours of every subscriber's day in 5-minute increments. I prefer my approach move to the sticks and keep a burner phone for outbound calls only.
     You don't even want to talk on the phone?
     Correct! My socializing sometimes takes the form of sitting across the chessboard from other players who appreciate face-to-face play, win or lose. And I'm socializing when I visit my closest real flesh-and-blood friends, even if I can count them on my fingers. I don't want and certainly don't need 429 followers to bolster my sense of self-worth. I'm not fragile. Hell, a flesh-and-blood friend (of 40 years!) actually unfriended me in real life due to our divergent socio-political views. I'm more thankful than disappointed. He saved us both from wasting valuable time. It's all about the value of one's time respective to the balance of whatever one needs to live life on an "even keel." If your Facebook status is of paramount importance in your life, that's your business. It doesn't interest me.
     People just like being in contact with one another.
     Really? With absolutely everybody? All day long?
     Half the world's population is on Facebook.
     Half the world?
     Well, half the world is a bit of an exaggeration. But well over a billion. There's even a hundred million who use Instagram on a daily basis.
     That right there's the strongest argument I've heard yet to avoid the largest conformist clubs on the planet. Most of what I've seen on Facebook reminds me of puerile high school intrigues, jealousies, emotional crises. Perhaps the majority of Facebook posts are devoted to relationships family and friends though even they appear to be heavily redundant staging arenas for drama queens. Family seems to be the number one hobby for most people online or otherwise. Even those lacking a happily functional family will actually go out of their way to seek out an alternative substitute. That's like sailing to colonial America to escape the tyranny of King George and then fashioning a rebel government with a president at its helm, a lackluster scenario that loudly begs for more imagination. The disquieting plot of the New World play ends up being identical to that of the Old World, because the actors' roles are merely cloaked in different titles. Congratulations on a job undone.
     So you're anti-family?
     I didn't say that. I'm fine with the depth of anyone's involvement in their own family. However, projecting that level of involvement onto me as if it were an intrinsic moral duty will lead to certain disappointment. I'm enthused about family in a rational proportion to all else I find worthy of my interest. I do have a 7-year-old granddaughter who loves me for no accountable reason whatsover. How could I possibly feel otherwise about her? But since there's no real rule requiring obsession with family, I prefer lone-wolfing it most of the time. Surely, the world won't come to an end if the occasional recluse decides to keep to himself. After all, we help the socially obsessed to rationalize their addiction. We asocials give them someone to point at as the butt of their ridicule. I serve as their "how-not-to-be" example even as they are mine.
     But we worry about you.
     Seems to me you may have way too much invested in converting me into another you. Why don't I feel compelled to reciprocate in kind? Oh yeah, I remember... because it takes way too much time and energy. I have no need to affirm anyone else's choices, apart from the choice to go your own way. But we all need to be mindful that there are many acceptable ways to go, not just one. And don't imagine I fancy myself unique. Just because my path isn't cluttered with codependents doesn't mean I'm alone. For me, however, alone means "in good company."





     Observe the ingenious looking glass positioned just so out on the deck! Behold as photons issuing down from the nearest star are redirected by this markedly innovative 1st century Roman technology at an upward angle into the artist's studio!


     Marvel at the brilliant (400 Watts more or less) swath of light cast thereby upon the white ceiling directly above my wall-mounted easel! The resplendent radiance of this nearby self-luminous celestial body is so potent as to simultaneously dry my laundry and grow my vegetables whilst I labor with paintbrush in hand. Isn't science wonderful? No special licensing or permits required.

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