JOSEPH M. HAUTMAN
Joseph Murray Hautman entered
the world on July 10, 1956, in Berkley, California. When he
was two years old, his parents moved the family back to Minnesota,
their original roots. For young Joe, it was heaven-sent. The
northern mid- west offered a wide variety of wildlife and
outdoor recreation, and Joe, with the guidance of his father,
sampled most of it.
Life wasn't all play, though,
his parents stressed education. Music and science became major
interests, and he learned to play the piano proficiently.
It is still a source of relaxation for him. He often plays
for hours at a time.
The field of physics was a driving
force within Joe, so, after graduating from St. Louis Park
High School, he entered the University of Minnesota and threw
all he had into his studies. Art and music would have to take
a back seat if he was to excel in his chosen profession. After
graduating from the University of Minnesota he attended the
University of Michigan for graduate studies and ultimately
a PhD in physics.
While in graduate school, he
met and fell in love with Milla Sah, a fellow graduate student.
She was born and raised in a small Himalayan mountain village
in India, and although her parents were of modest means, she
worked hard, studied hard, and won a fellowship to the University
of Windsor in Canada.
Joe was a year ahead of Milla,
and when he returned to the University of Minnesota for post-doctoral
work, she followed and finished her graduate studies there.
During that time they were married and now both are practicing
The job market in Minnesota for
Joe and Milla was a little less than ideal and both had good
offers in the east, so they moved to Jackson, New Jersey.
Joe works for the University of Pennsylvania and Milla works
for Bell Laboratories.
Although he had let his pursuit
of art slide while he earned his degrees, Joe picked up where
he left off as soon as it became practical. He had never painted
any wildlife subjects until brothers Jim and Bob talked him
into entering the federal duck stamp contest. He won on the
Joe confesses that prior to winning
the 1992 contest he had painted only five paintings with the
subject of wildlife and had never sold a painting of any subject!
The first painting that he ever sold was his winning entry.
When Joe won his first Federal
Duck Stamp Contest he was still working full-time as a physicist.
However, the first contest he entered after his federal win
was for the South Carolina Duck Stamp. He won, so he figured
that maybe the federal wasn't a fluke. He decided to go full-time
as an artist. The brothers Hautman are quite similar in their
style of painting and most people have trouble distinguishing
who did which painting. However, Joe maintains that the differences
are obvious to all three brothers. Joe had this to say:
"I personally make it a
goal to try to eliminate any stylization from my paintings.
I don't think that it is really possible to do that, but I
think that it is a good goal because the best "style"
is just that personal quality that you can't help but have
in your work. When I was a kid I used co make very detailed,
ordered symmetric designs in pen and ink. The extreme of this
was when I spent hours filling in every other square on a
piece of graph paper in a checkerboard pattern. It was a flawless
array of black and white squares. After I finished it Bob
got a hold of it somehow and filled in one of the white squares
black! You would not be surprised that one of the distinguishing
aspects of Bob's painting style is a looser, less predictable
composition and brushwork."