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Life Without Lines: The Art Portfolio of Matthew Haynes

A painting of a faceless human figure and a lightbulbStagnation, acrylic on wood

Matthew Haynes is a painter who works in a brightly colourful, graphic style. The artist’s illustrative paintings seek to present scenes of life without lines -- whether those are outlines or dividing lines. The artist’s portfolio addresses the psychological and philosophical through a dreamlike, fantastical lens. 

A painting of a woman in a boat with birdsCast Away, acrylic on wood


I really enjoy the way that Matthew emphasizes the “linelessness” of his artworks, using colour theory as a tool to create volume and depth, positioning planes of a certain colour next to successive shades or tints of the same colour to create gradients that suggest light or even heat. I also really enjoy the artist’s subject matter -- Mathew sometimes uses human figures, placing them in unlikely or magical scenarios. Elements of science fiction, fantasy, and comic-book storytelling are frequent motifs. 

A screen capture of Matthew Haynes' art portfolio


Matthew’s 2019-2020 series Crisis is especially powerful. Here the artist focuses on central human figures, often deconstructed, often contorted into expressions that speak of anger, pain, or fear. The simplicity of these works along with their real-time context allows freedom for interpretation within a clear message of human struggle.

A painting of a person yelling with bat detailsDiscord, acrylic on wood

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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