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Sketch Pad

Lindsey Hammond
Willing to change
by Kathy Anderson

childhood obsession with colored pencils has stayed with Lindsey Hammond throughout her life. She's now expanding her art repertoire by delving into pen-and-ink drawings, mixed media and silk screening. The Portland native enjoys traveling but is always thrilled to come home to the city she considers one of the best places on the planet. Recently, the story of Lindsey and her "anger chair" was told by columnist Margie Boulé in the Oregonian. For more than a month Lindsey carried around a chair she'd decorated with the words "anger" and "mad" as an assignment from her therapist. The assignment is complete, she's let go of her anger, put down the chair and now embraces her life and her art. Lindsey's first two shows will be the Y.O.H. Art Event in Yonkers, N.Y, June 3-5, and the St. Johns Window Project the last weekend in July.

Something different
Inspired by life and her own history, Lindsey Hammond's art always has a story behind it.


"My passion, first and foremost, is storytelling," she said. "My inspiration comes from things I feel strongly about, am curious about or that make me mad. When I want to spend time on a subject, I create a piece of artwork about it."

The inspiration behind her new brain series was a recent trip to Chicago that included a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry's "Body Worlds" exhibit.

The exhibit brought to mind one of Lindsey's longtime favorites, Leonardo da Vinci.

"We are amazing creatures," she said. "While there, I was struck by how complex our systems are and how many functions are working all the time. And we just get to live, we don't have to manage any of it."

That thought led Lindsey to think about her own story, her "anger chair" and how it is, or what it is, that makes her want to change.

"I want to explore my own willingness to change and, when push comes to shove, what drives us to change and how we go about making changes," she said. "Usually, the answer to those questions is pain.

"Big bite"

"What I've learned is that when we change a longtime habit, it's like building a new road in our brains. It's so much easier to jump on the highway parallel to the road that's under construction," she said. "But I know where that highway will take me and I want to do something different.

"I've heard it said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results. Ha! I want to spend some time with those thoughts and what better way than to create art around them?"

However, the thoughts and images in Lindsey's head are sometimes difficult for her to put down on paper.

"I see things more like a photograph," she said, "so I use bits and pieces and the end result is always different than what I think it's going to be.

"I'm not in charge of what I create, I'm just a vessel through which it flows."

Under the influence
In addition to da Vinci, Lindsey admires Annie Leibovitz, Miro, Niki de St. Phalle, Andy Warhol, Keith Herring, Shawna Ferreira, Brian Andreas and local artist Chad Crouch.

"Ol' Joe 2" and "The Cape," photographs Lindsey plans to use as inspiration for two series of artwork.

"Joe Sorren is a painter that I wish so badly I could study with," she said. "His style is exactly where I want to be – very whimsical and goofy, but there's some darkness in there. He sends out a very honest message to me.

"Sark has an amazing spirit and has influenced me tremendously. Alyce Cornyn-Selby is an amazing powerhouse woman who was a catalyst in my life and a powerful role model; she lives art! Then there's Degas – love his dancers, hate his attitude toward women."

A jarring experience
Artistic women run in Lindsey's family. Her mother paints and crafts, her aunt is an artist and her grandmother began drawing with pastels late in life.

"My mom has a beautiful ballerina that my grandma was working on when she passed away," Lindsey said. "It's really powerful. The ballerina is finished, but her shadow is only sketched in pencil. It seems to speak of grandma's journey."

Art was always a part of Lindsey's childhood. She remembers painting in kindergarten, and the big jar of clear water used to clean out her brush.

"There was something magical when I dipped my brush in the jar," she said. "Watching the water slowly turn to blue, like a room thick with smoke, curling and twisting until all the water was the same color. And then, when I cleaned out my brush a second time, watching the water turn purple."


Mesmerized by the changing colors in the jar, Lindsey had no idea it was her first lesson in color theory.

Another world
Lindsey took all the art classes her schools offered. In seventh grade, her art teacher took Lindsey under her wing – that's when Lindsey knew she wanted to be an artist.

"I loved it," she said. "In high school, Ms. Robinson was exactly who I wanted to be. She was a graphic designer and introduced me to the computer. I had no idea that I would follow in her footsteps. I wouldn't be where I am today without both of those teachers."

Lindsey carried her art projects to every class and, if she could get away with working on them, she would.

"If any class outside of art required a project, I did something with my art," she said. "It was the one area where I knew I could shine."

Lindsey spent a year and a half at the University of Oregon, but felt she wasn't being fed enough art. She transferred to Pacific Northwest College of Art where she received her BFA in graphic design.

"It was the best decision I could have made," she said. "I had an art family there and I learned so much in such a supportive environment. I don't know how I would have held up in an uber-competitive environment."


With an associate, Lindsey now has her own graphic design studio. So far, it's been an exciting, successful ride.

"Talk about a learning curve! I was a contractor for years but this is a different world," she said. "But I'm having a blast and am seeing where my strengths and weaknesses lie."

Room to play
Lindsey has a new dedication to her art and herself. When bored or upset, she sits down, tunes into her self and draws.

Her goal is to keep opening up to her creative spirit and giving it room to play.

"I would love to share more of my story with the planet," she said. "I think what we all want more than anything is to be listened to and heard."

E-mail Lindsey at lindsey@hubltd.com. You can reach Kathy at kanderson138@comcast.net, and draw on other Sketch Pads.

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