ARTIST PORTRAITS

ARTIST PORTRAITS // HAILY SOUTH

Haily’s website says she’s emerging. You will find daily evidence of her emergence via her Instagram account.

Haily welcomed me to her studio last month to see her, to witness her work and her workspace. My aim was to record her now. To document that ideas are visiting her, emerging with her. Her Springville studio sits in the middle of her home; light and linear, clean and peppered with books, plants, color, and soften gold in baggies. Leaf sticking to her paintings in deliberate highlights making portraits of women into icons, including Haily. At one point she in editing I noticed that a few fine flecks of the metal were stuck to her forehead.

We laughed and talked and had reverence for one another. Oh do you know Zina? Kirk? Third Space? Yeah. Good company.


As our session ended Haily asked me to choose a tube of her oil paint, to “help” her with something. In that spontaneous, connected swell I felt like I had won the lottery. Her painting “wasn’t working” and she wanted to “see” what I could/would do. My lack of skill warned me to hurry out but Haily was in charge- so I listened. She told me all about the blue I chose. There was something about packaging and history and something about impressionism- I wish I had recorded what she said because it was educated and poetic but I was deaf with fear excitement. I dipped my brush against the palate and then into the medium and I painted. Is that what call it?

Did I tell Haily that I had always wanted to paint? To be a painter? No, why would I? The oil paints reminded me of smoothing barely solid butter between my fingers as a child and I let Haily’s invitation and the visceral comforts of pleasurable texture guide. I am so glad Haily invited me because the way the oily azure color went on and on in a wild line across her warm painting (see the before on the bottom row middle of the gallery below) is something I needed. To just see. To make something warm, blue against reverence for the warm and in honor of it.

Artists. Making art together. One tidy and talkative and the other covered in soft shiny metals of alchemic emergence. Thank you Haily.