The person I’m spotlighting this week isn’t an author, but the man and his work are both so incredible I had to share who he is and what he does.
Scott Hagan paints barns – literally. His artwork, his master craftsmanship, can be found all across the country. You see, Scott turns barns into his canvas in order to create gallery worthy paintings. From abstract designs, to complex birds, to advertising that rivals the faded vestiges of our roadside past, Scott does it all. And, sadly, he’s one of the few remaining true barn artists left. There are those who ‘paint’ barns with vinyl. Scott arrives with his truck, scaffolding, brushes, buckets of paint, and his artist’s eye.
Generally, each commissioned piece of art takes about three days, depending on the prep work required. That can involve a total stripping down to the bare wood in order to achieve the proper base for the new paint. Then Scott does what he loves; he breathes new life into what many might have thought a lost cause, and leaves behind him a colorful piece of treasured Americana.
Scott also adorns gymnasiums (walls and floors) with his artistry, as well as silos, buildings, football
Q) I know you started by painting the Ohio Bicentennial logo on barns. But, what was it that convinced you to turn that endeavor in to a career?
A) I really did not know it would turn into a career, in time it just developed into one. It was hard initially to convince myself that it was possible to have enough projects to make a living. Today much of my success relies on people finding my website, and social media.
Q) The detail you incorporate on such a huge scale is incredible, and you do it by hand, no air brushing. Why did you opt to hold true to the methods and techniques of the past?
A) I like to use the brush for several reasons. For one it’s what I do best and learned on. Two, it puts the paint on thicker that way- air brushes in my experience won’t hold enough volume for the size of the area I am painting. On occasion however, I have used aerosol cans but usually for effect.
Q) What has been the strangest thing you’ve been asked to paint, and, what has been the most difficult ‘canvas’ to work on?
A) The most difficult areas to paint are the metal buildings. While they seem to last forever, the shape of the surface requires an extra amount of patience.
For me the most unusual image was this- In a new school’s gym, I painted a huge picture of the "Old School" with the school’s mascot coming out of it. This was the center feature of the gym!
Q) Your current personal goal is to paint a barn in every state. How close are you now?
A) I am only up to 17 states (I think). I'll be adding a new state in the spring – Massachusetts; a Betsy Ross style flag on a building. I'll also be in the Cape Cod area in the near future.
Q) Any parting thoughts for readers or folks interested in contacting you?
A) Sure, I am best known for painting barns, but really my skill is painting anything large on most any surface. I really enjoy painting in school gyms and facilities. The travel is also a fun perk of the job, and I hope to visit some of the west/mountain states in the future.
DA Kentner is an award-winning author www.kevad.net