My name is Michael Haun, I am Roo and Roodoodles is my art (follow me on Facebook and visit my website!). I have always lived in the southeast USA. Chickens cross the road, possums have a harder time. Humor, hospitality, and storytelling have always been a part of my blessed past. The grand kids call me Roo. My last name, Haun is derived from the German Hahn that means rooster, even proud rooster as I prefer, so I am Roo.
I am a husband, dad, producer, singer, songwriter, storyteller, blacksmith, artist, widget builder, writer, welder, whittler. I operate a small story/creative company (Storyrealing), and help others tell their stories on video. I write, build and design for clients.
A few years ago my wife Carol, gave me some painting supplies, with our yearly challenge to each other to learn something new. She told me to come in out of the shop – you smell like steel, you need an indoor hobby. She was and is the original artist in this family. I finally sat down to paint and realized I had no clue.
I packed everything back up and bought a book on sketching. I spent the next 6 months carrying a journal learning to sketch the basics. That was hard work. Why did I not study art in school- oh because during my 4 hour shop class I welded things together for local farmers; work always hinders art.
A few years ago we were having coffee outside at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, DC. I had my journal and a three dollar mini pack of watercolors I purchased in the National Art Gallery gift shop. Carol was tossing croissant crumbs to these little birds hopping around our table. I decided to sketch them. The caption just happened. One bird turning to the other and saying the truth.
Carol told me, those are good. You know you should paint roosters, it is our namesake. So that next day I painted a blue soft shell crab. She said, that’s very good, you should paint roosters. I painted a shrimp.
Finally I got the hint.
For the next 10 years I have painted roosters. One day Roo, that is me, was doodling a rooster and roodoodles.com was born. I love it when simplicity strikes.
I doodle on napkins, moleskines, table cloths and best of all good watercolor paper. Everything in nature seems to speak, sometimes there are those who crow the loudest. Roosters appear in every landscape even in and out of Biblical history. They grace storytelling and folklore, they wake the farm, they are on weathervanes and church tops they are icons and logos. They are the characters and caricatures. I think they are the self-proclaimed FarmBards.
Roodoodles are simple, whimsical, witty, some times sane and thoughtful, most times wise and confident. Some tell the joke, many times the joke is on them. We should not take ourselves to seriously. Roosters brighten this life. They remind us to wake up, stand up, listen up and hold up the truth, even smile. Someone somewhere loves roosters, someone’s mother loves roosters, somewhere every family has a story about some rooster. Those are the things the people who own Roodoodles tell me.
Most of the paper I use is 140# Kilimanjaro bright white cold press from Cheap Joes Art stuff. I also use American Journey paints, Joe created those too. I do use Flame 100% cotton paper. From time to time I use liquid watercolor paints, Dr. Ph. Martins, I drop those on the paper, spritz them with a touch of water and see if a Rooster appears. Don’t skimp on good paper, good paint or brushes. There are times I use Chinese brushes, they hold a ton of water. I don’t mix paint in a pan or on a pallet, I let the colors mix on the painting itself.
This is so less predictable and loose. I like watercolors bold and bright, loose and sometimes even unfinished. Put the brush down and walk away from the easel.
I appreciate and love talented artists but I think I know and understand my style. I think I have found my voice, or the Roo’s voice anyway. Style is always based on your artistic ability and limitations, but my brain is always connecting the story and that is art to me. I try to doodle or paint everyday, I try to paint early in the morning when the sun is coming up and the roosters should be waking up the farm. I paint in a small space at a bar I call the ArtBar, my wife has 100 stems of glasses in that bar. I drink black tea. Sometimes I dip my brush in the wrong cup, so I go ahead and paint with the tea, but try not to drink the paint water.
I still make art out of steel, and have several large pieces in some buildings downtown in Charlotte, North Carolina. I just completed this piece. The shrimp were hammered out by hand, then assembled.
I sell on my Roodoodles Facebook page. I give away an original the first of each month, and several times a week I just let an auction run.
I feel like I have gotten to know many of the people who purchase my art, I think they are hard working families that appreciate life and love to smile. I paint for a couple magazines that cater to chicken people and local farmers. One of those is GRIT. I love their style and the helpfulness of their publication.
I am working to finish a children’s book by the end of year. I’ve finished the writing- now if I could just get over to the ArtBar and talk to myself about illustrating it with Roodoodles; but remember work hinders our art. I think I am going to do a small series of books where the roosters are all poets. Thus FarmBard.
I don’t do prints, just originals. I believe art should connect with the buyer and be priced in such a way that everyone should have the opportunity to own some original art in their home. I am very grateful and honored to be able to share my story here. If you would like to see and hear a story, here is link to one I just did for a creative company near where I live.
Life is a gift… Be creative.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!