Chris Hamman's Paintings in a Picture Grid Collage

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Purpose of His Art:

As I see it, Art has several reasons for being.

One is to connect with the creative divinity we have within ourselves.

Another is to help others find their personal creative divinity.

Another is to build a connection of “friends� throughout the world and foster an understanding of our different cultures.

It brings great joy when I get comments from different artists all over the world that see my work and comment on it.

Thank you.

Description of Paintings in Collage

1.Hopi Res- Canvas 24� by 30� My wife took a teaching job at Second Mesa on the Hopi Reservation at the end of 2001. The Hopi have a reputation of being in touch with Mother Earth and a more natural way of living. We made some good friends while there. I had the opportunity to paint and build furniture. This piece was the signature piece for the time. I love the color. The winter is pretty cold and the trees stood out. I painted a lot of trees. In folklore, trees were the gateway into the spirit worlds.

2.Home-36� by 48� I grew up in the Mojave Desert. The Mojave is between Los Angeles California and Phoenix Arizona. Interstate 10 passes right through it. Our land was ringed by date palms and pomegranate bushes. On two sides were irrigation ditches for watering the fields.

I lived for a while in San Jose, California and got into painting aerial views looking down on land formations. I think it is how the Silicon Valley people work all the time to make their big monetary score and then retire before 30. They really believe they can do that.

When I thought of painting an abstract of where I grew up, I thought of the aerial design and abstract pattern of the shadows, fields and ditches. I will repaint this again and again. It is a reminder of home. I went back one time and the current owner sold all the palm trees to a developer in phoenix. I heard the palms are on a golf course.

3.Saline Valley-Canvas 48’ by 54� This valley is next to Death Valley in Southern California. The bottom of the dry lake is below ocean sea level. My wife, Donna and her sister went there several years prior to our trip. It is a place where the same people have been going back each spring for the last 30 years. There are natural hot springs and volunteers have built rock and cement tubs for the springs. It is cooperative living at its best. We met many people from the bay area.

The valley once had many wild burros that were descendents of the gold miner’s burros from 80 to a hundred years ago. The bureau of land management rounded them up and moved them to a more remote location.

In the middle of camp was a skull of one of the burros, hence the smiling skull in the center. My friend Cecil, finds this painting very disturbing, must remind him of death.

4.Angst- 30� by 36� I was working a hard job and it was having a result on my health. It was my own psychological way I was handling the stress. The darkness at the bottom was the creeping shadow issues that the job was revealing to me. I eventually had to let go of my attachment to the job and do something less stressful. The shadow kept showing up more and more in the paintings.

5.Getting out of the boxes Canvas, 48� by 54�- I started this painting in San Antonio, Texas. The boxes are my thoughts, attitudes and how I have built my life beliefs. The role of artists is to move culture forward. Get us out of the current box so we can move into a newer one. The blue column in the back is the goal. Find the round peg and the round hole where it will fit.

6.Pioneer Inn, Maui- This was my first large painting dine back in the late 80’s. Dimensions are 49� by 57�. We took a trip to Maui where a contractor friend had gone to live and work. He invited me to come over and work. I went to see what it was like. All I saw were grave yards. I got the message from my sub-conscience that this place was “dead� for me.

7.Gathering Storm- Board 20� by 24� This is a flashback to the summer monsoons in the desert, where I grew up. Creosote is one of the local bushes. It is a good body detoxifier and smells great after a summer shower. Where I lived, was never overcast. But, in the afternoon, clouds would build up and release terrific rain showers and lightning storms.

8.Boats Monterey- board 20� by 24�This is from a photo I took of boats in the Monterey California boat harbor. I plan on re-painting this at least one more time to get it right.

9.Cactus- Saline Valley. This is painted on wood board. Dimensions are about 8� by 12�. We had to drive over a pass to get into the valley. It is a dirt and treacherous road. We stopped at the top to get out and relax. By the side of the road was this beautiful cactus in spring bloom. I took a picture and painted this from it.

10.Keams Canyon Bridge- 24� by 30� This is another Hopi Reservation painting. We lived in Keams Canyon. Keams was where the “white guys� built their “white community� example for the Indians to get and idea of how they should live. As soon as the Hopi had a choice, they began to move all the health services nearer to where they lived on the mesas.

This picture was out the back window of our house and across the dry creek bed. The bridge connected the housing with some of the service buildings on the south side of the creek.

11. Desert Night- 24� by 34� I remember driving at night across the desert. You can see a town coming up from miles away. I’ve always had this “thing� for night pictures, night art. Guess it more of the shadow stuff. Carl Jung, the mystic psychologist, says when we stuff away experiences rather than deal with them, we also stuff away our creativity. When we are able to deal with old issues, the shadow will release the creativity also.