Artist Profile

Artist Biography

Raymond L. Haywood

  • Has been painting and drawing since middle school. Deconstructing hard versus soft edged images in his mixed media paintings and prints. Printing on wooden panels allows for a mixture of both painting and printmaking processes. Combined they form the signature style unique to an artist with a singular vision.
  • His art praxis is derived from years as an accomplished carpenter, illustrator and textile designer. Mixed media art is his passion.

The Oakland Arts Community

  • Influenced in his formative years as an artist living and working at the Vulcan Foundry Studios in Oakland. The time there literally forged his unique studio practice and his community involvement.
  • He continues a community-based approach to working in the arts. His current studio is located at the American Steel Studios in West Oakland.
  • He is a seminal member of the Art of Living Black, the only juried African American showing and open studios hosted by the Richmond Art Center in its 20th year.
  • He recently created “N/Visible Atelier”, an African American male art collective having its inaugural showing at Warehouse 416 in 2016.

Artistic Influences

  • Born in Berkeley, California in the pivotal year of 1963 Raymond was branded with a singular political consciousness. Liberal aesthetics and politics have affected his works from the beginning of his career. Studying with esteemed Painter Faith Ringgold and Sculptor Italo Scanga defined his creative voice. Raymond Saunders, Octavia Butler and Elizabeth Catlett also influence his work.
  • Proximity to San Francisco has driven his artistic development and political growth. The unique light and weather of Northern California is integral to his creative output. The ongoing evolutions of the arts communities in the San Francisco bay area are inseparable from his social consciousness.
  • Experience in the building trades as carpenter of residential and commercial projects informs his art business and craftsmanship.
  • Teaching myriad mediums of art at Laney College, Berkeley City College and recently at Chabot College provided intellectual rigor in his thematic approach to painting and printmaking.
  • California sunlight and the San Francisco fog, shroud his work in mystery and surprises. Focused viewing of his paintings and prints reveals unexpected images and themes.

Artist Statement

My paintings reflect emotions and memory, allowing me to revisit vivid lived experiences in an intimate way. I love travel and have been afforded opportunities to explore diverse locales such as Belize, New Zealand, France and Mexico. As an Artist I see things in a different light, questions arise and similar to my love of math I create aesthetic theorems that I prove with my works. My paintings represent my symbolic language through the use of color.

Initially I had hoped to explore the ocean as an Oceanographer and Biologist, but my practical exposure to sculpture, drawing and painting at the University of California at San Diego transformed the scientist into an artist. Professors such as the late Sculptor Italo Scanga and the prolific Painter Faith Ringgold inspired me to share my singular painting style.

UCSD instilled the seed of exploration that led to discovering my voice through the use of bold color. Color is the primary tool in my language that translates my feelings into image. My concurrent experience as an Artisan Carpenter and Painter led to the fusing of working with wooden panels and acrylic paint.

My distinctive use of color, texture and symbols in my paintings invites the audience into my specific vision of the world. My images evoke a sense of time and place that is both ethereal and transient.

Raymond Lionel Haywood

Awards and Fellowships

  • 2002 The Art of Living Black Jan Hart Schuyers Fellowship Award, The Richmond Art Center, Richmond CA
  • 2002 The Leo D. Stillwell Fellowship, at San Francisco State University CA
  • 2003 The Murphy and Cadogan Graduate Fellowship, The San Francisco Foundation and The San Francisco Art Commission Gallery San Francisco CA


San Francisco State University
Master of Fine Arts (MFA), Painting
2000 – 2003
Mixed media painter, screen printer, textile artist, graphic design and sculpture. Primary media aerosol & acrylic paint on wood panels.

University of California, San Diego
Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Painting
1981 – 1985
Independent study with Italo Scanga and Faith Ringgold.