Michael Hamilton:
maryland institute college of art

I'm somewhat of a Neanderthal when it comes to painting. When I see something visually captivating I'll paint it.  Sometimes it doesn't always have the elements I desire  in a painting so I may need to recompose it, change it's color or what ever is necessary. I'm just using the artistic license we acquire when we call ourselves artists. But I try to remain true to what drew me to the image.

My philosophy in art is short and sweet.  Get the image out of your mind and onto the canvas as soon and as often as possible.  Yea, if it were only that easy. With daily distractions and pressures of just trying to make a living, we artists have to put what we desire to do most on the back burner sometimes. With the exception to those who are fortunate enough to support themselves with their art.  

I make a living by restoring paintings so representational imagery is a must but not necessarily foremost in what I paint.  I sometimes explore my imagination and use the different art mediums to create something that is not in my normal style. I try to vary my style and technique along with size and imagery so as not to stagnate.  To me there is nothing more boring then painting the same way over and over again. You should move on constantly changing and learning more about this crazy passion called art.

When restoring paintings it is important to be well versed in the images you are restoring.  So the images I paint for myself vary from landscapes to still lives to portraits. From time to time I like to paint costumed figures because the colors and styles are more vibrant and lively then most contemporary dress.

Sketching and drawing are natural for me and are basic for most artists. Painting was something I had to work at because there are more elements involved. But when one paints one also draws.  Vicious circle that it is.

Corbet said in 1861 that art is completely individual, and that the talent of each artist is but the result of his own inspiration and his own study of past tradition. And that it is merely a means of applying his personal faculties to the ideas and the things of the period in which he lives. And Corot said it is better to be nothing than an echo of other painters. It's difficult to be unique when it seems like everything has already been done. But there is enough imagery in today's social life, politics and events to keep artists going for a lifetime. In the past is has been popular for artists to represent what has happened in the past. Then it was popular to view everyday present life.  Now it's the future which holds our interest and our imagination.

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Michael Hamilton's Art Work
Read Michael Hamilton's One Man's Opinion
See Michael's Article on Art Conservation


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