(American, b. 1974)
Jeff Hein was born in New Windsor, New York in 1974. He began studying drawing at Ricks College in 1992 under Gerald Griffin. In 1997, after a 4 years off to serve a mission and battle cancer, Hein resumed his studies in painting and drawing at Salt Lake Community College under Rick Graham and Rob Adamson. From 1998-2002 Jeff attended the University of Utah where he also studied painting and drawing. Hein began a full time painting career in 2002. From 2008 to late 2010 Hein took a 2.5 year sabbatical to devote to personal study and exploration of naturalist painting techniques. Hein has also taken workshops from renowned artists, including Steven Assael.
Hein has been written up in numerous magazines and newspapers including “American Art collector”, “Fine Art Connoisseur”, “Arts and Antiques” and “Jetset Magazine”. His work has appeared on the covers of “American Art collector”, “Art Calendar” and two years of the annual Spring Salon Catalog of the Springville Museum of Art (SMOA). His work has also been shown in prestigious locations such as the Utah Museum of Fine Art, The SMOA and the Salmagundi Club in NY. It has been included in many prestigious collections including that of the SMOA, John Huntsman Sr., Mitt and Ann Romney, Senator Gordon Smith and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Jeff has won numerous awards including 2nd place in the National Portrait society’s portrait competition, 2nd place in the figurative category of the Art Renewal Center’s salon and first place in Springville Museum of Art's annual Spring Salon. Jeff has served as a faculty artist for the Portrait Society of America Portrait Conference from 2013-17. In2007 Hein founded the Hein Academy of Art in Salt Lake City where he trains 12apprentices in the naturalist tradition of Painting. Hein is known for his portraits, multi-figure narrative and scriptural paintings. His work also includes complex large scale still-life works and sculpture.
Hein strongly values handmade things, in other words, thing made without the aid of machines. He feels that art can tell a story about the life of its creator, and his subjects, especially if that artist’s process involves a pure and intimate relationship with his subject matter. Hein works only from life or imagination in his paintings. He sees each painting as a personal record of his experience with his subject, whether that be a person, animal, landscape or just his imagination. To him a painting or sculpture should be more than just a beautiful object. It should be the product of the artist’s experience. Each piece of art should carry a piece of the artist’s, and subjects’, history by embodying the events that led to its creation.
When I step in front of each freshly prepared blank canvas I'm ready to paint but hesitant. I make the first mark, and then another, and then another. Soon something starts to happen. I'm no longer hesitant and I begin to work with confidence. A nose appears, then eyes and then a mouth. Life starts to emerge from the flat textured surface. The image begins to look back at me and I can feel its emotion.
For as long as I’ve been painting I’ve been addicted to the unique thrill of creating the illusion of human life, but as I’ve evolved as an artist my paintings have become as much about color and composition as they are about the people I paint. My work is now an effort to combine the beauty of humanity with that of pattern, shape, color and good design.