Wow, so it has been a busy few months. I got back from Paris mid-June (can’t wait to go back) and spent the month of July as a studio assistant to Patrick Earl Hammie. This was a challenging but incredibly instructive experience that I would recommend to any artist at any level. Art is so highly personal, and every individual has a different way of working, so it can be both frustrating and difficult to come out of one’s artistic shell, to break away from one’s creative habits.
|Prof. Hammie’s Midwife|
Professor Hammie is a figurative artist like myself, but he works incredibly large-scale and paints “like a sculptor”, something that I’ve always admired, which is understanding and using paint as a three-dimensional medium applied to a two-dimensional surface. Although I also admire extreme realism, I crave the visual treat that is a painting painted “painterly” wherein the work appears realistic at a distance, but upon closer inspection, a lush, abstract topography is revealed.
In addition to learning (or at least attempting to learn) a new way to paint, just learning another painter’s studio practices was incredibly helpful, such as choice of products, suppliers, organization of work and daily schedule, etc. And of course, I learned a great deal about the industry as well!
What is even more frustrating than re-learning to paint is not being able to paint! Between getting back from Paris, moving back to Chicago and launching my career in aerial arts, I have had practically no time to oil paint. As soon as I settle into a new apartment, I hope to fix that. In the meantime, I draw every now and then and have been working on some digital painting studies from screen captures.
Interestingly enough, I already feel like I’ve been able to apply some of what I learned from Professor Hammie because I find myself able to be much looser with these studies than I would have in the past!