Born in 1997, Micah Hayns is a contemporary classical painter from Oxford. He aims to create paintings and drawings with the accessibility of an illustrator and the craft and skill set of the Old Masters, whom he studied intensively at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy. He uses various different mediums and techniques, taking inspiration from classical painting, the impressionists and street art.
Micah Hayns’ art stems from a passion and desire to express and share images and moments in which he finds beauty and truth. He hopes his work may bring people life in some way and inspire them to follow their own call to wonder and creativity.
Born in London in 1997, Micah’s first word was “again’. From an early age he had an ability to repeat one skill or craft persistently without getting bored until it was perfected. Beginning with cartoons at nine he found he enjoyed the step by step construction process for making them. This early interest in building a drawing from basic shapes and structures into a more complex final piece gave a hint as to the style of rigorous drawing training he would have in Florence, Italy, ten years later.
Micah pursued art throughout secondary school and he found refuge in the art department. With teachers who were patient and encouraging, this was an important place for him to spark and develop the initial curiosity in painting and to discover and analyse some of the artists that first inspired him, such as Edward Hopper, Andrew Salgado and the Pre-Raphaelites. Coming to the end of school, however, he had decided to take a degree in History, but late into the application process and after receiving a few offers, he had a change of heart and decided to reject them all and take the risk of pursuing painting as a career. He says that “one morning I woke up and I just knew I had to do art. It was a surreal moment, but I just suddenly was ordained with this deep conviction that I wanted to and needed to paint for the rest of my life”.
After leaving school, Micah enrolled in a distance-learning drawing course taught by the painter Jeff Watts from California. Micah states that all of his current painting and drawing ability is built upon the foundations he gained while studying under Jeff. This course helped him build a portfolio to apply to study at the prestigious Florence Academy of Art, which he funded through commissions, a successful solo exhibition “Infinite”, and crowdfunding.
In Florence, Micah studied rigorously for a year with some of the most skilled classical painters in the world where he learned the drawing techniques of the Old Masters such as Michelangelo and Leonardo. Often drawing from sculptures and live models for over seven hours a day, this training helped him develop the skills to translate people and nature three-dimensionally onto paper and canvas.
Micah focused the next few years on creating his own personal, original style and voice. This took a tremendous amount of trial and error and he says he discarded around 90% of the work he made as he wasn’t happy with the result. He describes this period as the most challenging time of his journey so far.
He aims to combine both his fascination with the craft and tools or ‘language’ of classical painting which he has spent years studying, and infuse that with other visual art genres such as collage, street art, the impressionists and illustration. Some of Micah’s favourite artists include - Monet, Michelangelo, Sorrolla, John Everret Millais, Andrew Salgado, Banksy, Rembrandt, John Singer Sargent and Edward Hopper.
Afterwards, two new opportunities arose to kickstart his early career. The first was to convert and manage an empty shop in Oxford as his own gallery and studio. He transformed the space into a ‘Jungle’ and displayed over thirty original pieces to the public, selling prints and cards and learning valuable lessons seeing people interact with his work. The second opportunity was a collaborative project with his mother, telling the stories of forty women of the Old Testament through text and images. The resulting book, “Unveiled” was published in October 2021. To see some of the pieces created and where to find the book - click here. Micah states his Christian faith is crucial to his life journey, and so the opportunity to express this through a project like that was a great blessing.
Micah is still painting in Oxford with the same momentum and passion as when he started. He has so many ideas and feels he could paint forever and never lose interest.
News and upcoming projects and shows:
New book called "Unveiled": Much of 2020-21 was spent creating 40 paintings and drawings for a book called Unveiled that his mother was writing about women of the Old Testament. The book is out now in all major online book shops. Paintings and prints of the images in the book are also available here. Please contact for more information.
JUNGLE Art Gallery: He is currently exhibiting and working at his new gallery called JUNGLE in Templars Square, Oxford which is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 11-4. All are welcome to come and visit!