John Ernest Haugse

Date of Birth

December 23, 1937

Date of Death

December 27, 2020

City of Death

Santa Barbara, CA

John Haugse was an award-winning painter, draftsman, animator, and filmmaker. He was also a valued teacher to aspiring artists. Over his life, John also pursued theater, poetry, cartooning, and short story writing. He wrote a graphic novel, Heavy Snow, about his father’s descent into Alzheimer’s. Sooner or later John always returned to his first love, painting. His distinctive style in still life, landscape, cityscape, and abstraction gathered force throughout his sixty-year career in the arts.

He loved the landscape of Santa Barbara. “The ideal,” he said, “is to give landscapes peacefulness without losing the restless and constantly changing character of the natural world.” His work was shown at galleries in California, Washington, and Oregon.

John received his BFA from San Francisco Art Institute, studying with Richard Diebenkorn and Frank Lobdell, among others. He earned his MFA at the University of Oregon, in 1964. John’s abiding enthusiasm for young people in the arts made him a beloved instructor at several art departments, including UC Santa Barbara College of Creative Studies and Harvard University’s Carpenter Center. Awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1976, John produced Freefall, an animated thematic study of love lost and regained. Through the final weeks of his life, he painted and drew; at the end, he produced a rethinking of his memoir about his father, At A Certain Age: Heavy Snow Revisited.

John is survived by his partner, Roberta Miller; daughter Jill and her husband Jason Bernhardt; his brother, William Haugse; his uncle and aunt, Gene and Shirley; and countless loyal friends.

More notes and a visual index can be found at

Memorial Service (zoom) to be arranged.


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.