Hal Mayforth is an American contemporary artist and illustrator who currently resides in the greater Boston area. As well as creating humorous illustrations, he paints large format abstract canvases. He is inspired by a wide variety of sources, including vintage cartoons and comics, petroglyphs from the Southwest USA and outsider art.
Inspired by the process
Mayforth maintains a regular sketchbook practice and it is the engine that drives his creativity. This practice began in 1973 while at college, and he has devoted one hour a day to sketching ever since. This morning routine takes on a meditative quality. Certain inspirations emerge during these sessions, but his biggest influence is art history, particularly the New York School of the 1950s.
Mayforth primarily uses a crow quill pen and ink and watercolour for all his sketchbook work, while his large abstract paintings are acrylic on canvas. He begins by painting gesturally in a free manner, and then dedicates time to editing the work; this process may take several days or several months. Mayforth adds and removes elements, and constructs and deconstructs the work until the piece feels complete.
Mayforth’s abstract paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries across the USA, such as the Housatonic Museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut; La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles and the Sylvia Schmidt Gallery in New Orleans. His illustrations are published in prestigious magazines and newspapers such as Time, Outside, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.