The vibrant landscapes of rural middle Tennessee have emboldened artist Freida Hamm to express emotion on paper. Through her liberal use of bright color and abstracted composition, the organic shapes surrounding a grove of trees, a winding fence, or a barn become a universal representation of an idyllic pastoral setting.
“Instead of people knowing what I’m feeling or trying to say, I want them to look at my work and bring their life experiences. They can identify, I believe, because of the way I paint and what I paint. Everyone has a house, a church, a barn or maybe just a shed in her memory.” Freida Hamm 2010
Hamm begins her artistic process by driving down solitary roads until she is drawn to a certain environment. After painting in plein-aire and photographing the site, the artist returns to her studio and paints – primarily working from memory. The emotional process is evident in the unusual coloring of a willow tree, the intense brushstrokes of grass swaying in the breeze, and the layers of paint that add texture and depth. “I like to paint big -- there’s something about getting your whole arm into it. When I’m painting, I want to become part of it and move around with it and back up and look at it. As a result, my feet are just about worn out.”
Art critic David Christie sums up Hamm’s work well: “The rich pinks, oranges, yellows and greens are applied in a manner that echoes Van Gogh’s swirling masses of foliage and atmosphere, but Hamm’s graceful brushstrokes bring a sense of passionate pantheism to these subjects with an elegant economy that Van Gogh’s busy, thick impasto never could.”