This artist’s subject is intimate encounter with another human spirit, through their physical presence. Her practice involves interweaving empathy, symbol, and gender signals. For inspiration, she turns to fellow artists–being congenial; friends, relatives–usually being willing; and artist models–treasured for their beauty and discipline.

To appreciate her work, you need to know that Haywood’s five-year-long choice of materials comes from traditional drawing media, but mostly pastel pencil. Thanks to instruction from Cuong Nguyen and the published work of William Maughan. Her pursuit has produced two major figural series, one of heads in carmine on toned charcoal paper and another of portraits in full color, many layered, in pastel pencil on a support of white, sanded board.

A patchwork quilt of historical influences includes the example of early portraitist Elisabeth Vigee-Le Brun, the personal struggles of impressionist Berthe Morisot, the techniques of the singularly accomplished pastel specialist Edgar Degas–as well as themes in dialog with John Sargent and James Whistler. Also, Haywood admits odd tendencies in her art–ones that she learns are more reminiscent of the Northern European Renaissance legacy: small-scale, fragmentary, naturalist, individualist. These must come from who-knows-what genetic source or infant interaction.

Devotion to making art came both early and late in the artist’s life. In between she has been active in teaching sociology, philosophy, world religions–as well as in undertaking religious and social service. Such a winding road, about 17 years ago, when it all came together again, adds an unusual perspective to her art.witcheastoval