Painting discovered Timothy Hauser at West Valley High School.
“I fell into it on the first day of art class,” he said. Hauser’s art teacher recognized something in him and gave him creative freedom and the tools to paint to his heart’s content. Since then, Hauser rarely sets down his brush. From his heart, through his arm, and to his hand, passion emerges.
In high school, Hauser found his identity. “It was a liberating feeling. I was a quiet kid but I was filled with a deep passion that wanted to be unleashed,” he said, “Painting gave me ‘my thing.’ Compliments and appreciation came through my artwork and my confidence grew and continues to grow.”
Hauser graduated from high school in 1994, after which he traveled to Kentucky for an adventure with a girlfriend. Though the relationship didn’t pan out, he stayed for two years and showed his paintings at area coffee shops. When he returned to Spokane he began showing his work at a cafe in Cheney and at Spokane Art Supply Too in Spokane Valley.
Currently he shows at Lucas Gallery in Graham, Wash.; Copperwood Furniture Store in Cheney; and Ink to Media and Uniquely U Images and Gallery, both in Spokane Valley.
By day, Hauser works full-time in maintenance; he paints when the urge hits him at his kitchen table or on an easel set up by the fireplace in his Valley apartment. There is a television nearby but it only plays DVDs and he does not have a computer. “My cell phone is my only link,” he said.
What he lacks in “links” to the outside world, he makes up for in his artwork, which somehow connects to a viewer. His styles range from expressionistic and whimsical landscapes to his depictions of grinning cats, pandas, giraffes and sea turtles swimming near coral. His work has the ability to paint a “perma-grin” on a viewer’s face as his simple joy radiates from the pieces. “It’s a great achievement to move others with my work,” he said.
Even his abstract work relays joy. He points to a nearby canvas of wild and free colors and shapes: “I was in the midst of completing a large sea turtle for a customer when I did that one. I had to let my ‘freak flag’ fly.”
Hauser, 34, paints quickly, allowing instinct to lead him. His work is raw, simple, almost innocent though full of depth, reflecting the artist’s nature, which is to stay positive in the face of the unknown. “It’s important to not be afraid. Opportunities will unfold.”
Hauser has no doubt that he will find success as an artist; though self-taught and unknown, he has sold well. “I’ve gotten this far, so why not?” he said.
Focused on the future, Hauser plans on continuing to share his gift of finding joy in simplicity through painting and is considering taking some of his animal paintings to children’s hospitals to display.
He has done some “darker” work, comments on events from our past like the Holocaust, and he may do a more serious series in the future, but for now, he is going with the flow. “My work is simple but with a bit of magic and lots of prayer,” he said, “My work transitions with me. Who knows where it will go? All I can say is art means a lot to me. It stirs my spirit and is deeply rooted in me. I am meant to create.”