The oil paintings of Anderson Artists Guild members Garret Hamm and Wendy Rogers are currently on display at the Anderson Arts Center as part of the “Aspects of Oil” show, a three-artist exhibit which opened on June 8 and runs through July 20.
For Rogers, her first invitational show was a great success. Not only did her children fly in to surprise her for the opening, but she sold 14 of her 22 pieces in the first hour. “I was overwhelmed,” she said.
Former Arts Center Executive Director Kimberly Spears asked Rogers to be part of a show two years ago. “I have to really laugh because Kimberly said, ‘We consider you a new and emerging artist,’ and I’m going to be 70,” said Rogers.
Among Rogers’ pieces on display are botanicals (including Botanical citrus c. limon) that most people mistakenly thought were prints but which are actually oil paintings done on museum-quality pastel paper. “When you apply paint, it almost stains it,” said Rogers. “The oil seeps down into the palette of the paper while the pigment stays on top, giving a watercolor appearance." A similar technique was used for Mamie (Golden Labrador). “I can get more brush strokes that look like fur,” said Rogers.
Rogers also enjoys painting still lifes that are loaded with symbolism. In Copper Pot and Twist of Lemon, the asparagus represents passion, the copper color of the pot means passion, the blue of the bowl suggests hope, and the lemons represent health.
For Garret Hamm, the Anderson show is his third exhibit. He previously had a solo show and another with a sports photographer friend themed around motorsports. Hamm often finds inspiration in the physical world. For instance, Song of the South was sparked by two sweet potato curing barns he passed while driving around Georgia. The idea for Bluebird and Morning Glories came from a rusty iron gate close to where he lives. “I drove by it all the time when I first moved here,” he said. “It hung kind of crooked, and a muddy driveway went up through the gate to God knows where. I took several pictures from different angles and ended up building a landscape around it.”
Hamm’s favorite painting is based on an old snapshot of his grandfather taken in the late 1940s. On a break from building his house, he is shown leaning against his car. The painting is called Granddad’s Ford. “I painted it in the same tone the black and white photo would be,” said Hamm. “I’m very happy with the way that one turned out.”