KARA HAMMOND: ITINERANT ARTS

Gallery and blog for the art of Kara Hammond


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Hand studies in ink

(Vintage fountain pen ink, Carter’s washable blue, circa 1950. On watercolor paper, 11″x14″, 2021)

These drawings are made mostly using a variety of artist-made or found vintage inks. The handmade inks include oak gall, walnut, and acorn-iron, hand picked and rendered from the artist’s farm, as well as studio-made copper oxide and titanium white. The vintage inks are mid-20th century, and have been rescued from our farm storage outbuildings.

The series began early in 2021 as a practice of drawing a hand a day. As in a net sport like volleyball or badminton, the intent has been to keep the thing in the air for as long as possible. So far, it’s been nearly two months. These are the best examples.

(Sumi ink on watercolor paper, 11″ x 14″, 2021)

(Hand foraged oak gall ink, and tea, on watercolor paper, 11″ x 14″, 2021)

(Hand foraged oak gall and titanium white inks, with coffee and tea, on watercolor paper, 12″ x 16″, 2021)

(Coffee and tea, with a brush, on watercolor paper)

These quick drawings use vintage sumi ink and brush.

The drawings above use a combination of vintage fountain pen ink, hand foraged walnut ink, copper oxide, and tea.

The drawings above use sumi or walnut ink, and crosshatching.

These are made with tea.

(Oak gall ink wash and titanium white, 11″x 14″, 2021)

Vintage fountain pen ink. Foraged acorn ink with brush and dip pen.

Vintage fountain pen ink, brush and dip pen.
(Oak gall wash, coffee, and titanium white ink on watercolor paper, 12″ x 16″, 2021)
(Copper oxide, walnut ink, tea wash, titanium white ink, oak gall ink, on watercolor paper, 12″ x 16″, 2021)


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“Sow Justice – Grow Peace”, on display on Adams and Lamar billboards around the Triad

Photo by C. S. Young, Jr. Fine Art Photography

It is with real pleasure that I announce the inclusion of my work in this year’s Arts Council Winston-Salem, ArtPop2020 Billboard Competition. Big shout-out to Lamar and Adams advertising, for sponsoring this opportunity for local artists to reach the broad general public. Big shout-out to ArtPop2020 and the Arts Council for making this a reality. The project has been receiving very favorable coverage from the Winston-Salem Journal, so thank you all for that as well!

July 14, 2020 – https://journalnow.com/entertainment/arts/these-6-artists-will-get-their-work-on-billboards-in-12-counties-artpop-street-gallery/article_39cf246c-0e8a-5d4c-be2b-cf6111f651dd.html

July 23, 2020 – https://journalnow.com/opinion/editorials/our-view-drive-in-art/article_af8a3889-c28e-59b4-b8b5-66bcf23926f2.html

For a deeper dive into how this relates to some earlier work, read on:

In the 1990’s, I was spending a lot of time in the studio making art about being on the road, developing images that reflected the alienation of life behind the wheel.

Sound Wall, Reston VA, oil on copper, 1996

The work that emerged was a series of drawings and paintings about the highway, and what it means to feel as if you’re sitting still while traveling forward at 70 miles an hour. Mostly it was a flatness that I found pervasive, in mood, in emotion, which I addressed in parallel-to-picture plane or one point perspective compositions.  

Smokestack, Elizabeth, NJ, oil on copper, 1997

It was a response to what I understood to be a disconnect between the presumed natural world tied to notions of traditional landscape, and what I was witnessing before me, a technologically contrived wasteland for which there was only one escape, forward behind glass, behind the wheel.

Greenroof Inn, Burlington, oil on copper, 1996

Rearview, graphite on paper, 2014
Surrogate, graphite on paper, 2016
Sign, graphite on paper, 2015

I’m not sure if there are any conclusions to be drawn between these older pieces and the fact that a drawing I created actually made it onto one of these advertising devices, but I think there is something there.

“Sow Justice” billboard across the highway, Greensboro, NC 7/23/20, KH
“Sow Justice” billboard, Greensboro, NC 7/23/20, KH

Can an image designed with the fostering of human relationships in mind use the apparatus of alienation to reach its goal?


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Away from the downtown studio for the duration. Here’s what I left unfinished:

For the past several weeks, in February and March of 2020, I had been working on a large scale panoramic drawing of “Athena Entrusting the Phrygian Cap to the Next Generation”. This was to be in honor of Women’s History Month. I expect it will stay up for several months in its current form, as the studio is practicing “social distancing” until the pandemic subsides. With any luck, I’ll get to work on it some more before too long.

Working from home in the meantime. Keep safe, everyone. Look out for one another and make something good while you’re sheltering.


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Preparation of Women’s History Month Mural

This February in Open Studio, it’s time for a large-scale collage mural construction project, in preparation for Women’s History Month, in March.

This means making preparatory sketches, collecting images, ideas, a gallon of glue, fusing large sheets of paper to lots of smaller pieces of paper, then putting it all together on the wall of Open Studio. Inspirational topics to include the 1968 Democratic Convention, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, and the 2017 Women’s March.

If you would like to contribute your ideas for the Women’s History Month mural, come by the studio and write them down for me at Gallery Hop, February 7, 2020. You may see your idea integrated into the finished piece, which will be on view through April, 2020. Open Studio @ Art Connections, 629 N. Trade Street, Winston-Salem, NC, 27101.


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Just For December


Time again for block printed holiday cards. Lots of different images, several new designs to choose from, including “Sled Dog”, “Xmas Octopus”, and “BAH!”.

Each one is hand pulled, printed on rice paper or card stock and is unique. Sizes 3″ x 5″ to 5″ x 7″, priced $5 to $8 each.

Kara Hammond’s Block Print Cards are sold only through Sunday, December 22, so don’t procrastinate. Come by and check them out!

At Open Studio, 629 North Trade Street, Winston-Salem, NC, 27101.