Linda Hammond

Artist Statement

My work is an outward formal expression of what is essentially a private experience, somewhere at the nexus of emotion, memory, nature and spirituality. Despite its deeply personal nature, I believe that visual art fills a basic communicative need, just like talking, writing, making music, dancing, singing, theater, and other human endeavors which communicate something ineffable, but important, from one person to another.

Most of my works are initially unplanned and intuitive, responding to a particular observation, mood, or emotional response to the world around me: a line of poetry, a melody, a natural form, a particular memory, conversation, event or experience. Like their source, the works tend toward abstraction, although representational images sometimes work their way in. I work in acrylic, primarily on canvas; I often incorporate collage or drawing into the process. I let the painting process guide me. This "playtime" may involve several layers of paint, collage, mark making - anything that comes to mind. At this point I ask three questions: What is it about, emotionally or intellectually? What design element is the most interesting, formally? And finally, is it open-ended enough to allow the viewer to find a personal connection or viewpoint?  The spontaneous approach gives way to a more critical, evaluative time, when I enhance or filter out elements to strengthen the overall meaning. Ultimately, the critical dialogue must take place, but starting with the spontaneous approach seems to create a more sensitive result.

I usually work on several pieces at once. Like human interaction, the works feed off each other. An abstract emotional response to a representational element in one work may trigger a formal interest in another, which in turn leads to further exploration of a particular color, shape, mood or idea that may have very little resemblance to the initial element.

As an artist, I see myself walking a path that parallels the path of life: a way faintly described, having many branches. The way is built of choices. Spiritual, emotional and intellectual reactions pave the surface. Each piece of art branches into another: voices from the past, songs for the present, and prayers for the future blow across the path for, ultimately, art is an homage to all three. I walk the path without question. It continues to unfold, and I must move in time to my own steps.