“Serious” art people are often skittish about paintings of animals; simple, straightforward, portraits of pets are the work of “hobbyists” they might say. Yet the concept that any artist’s practice draws directly from their immediate environment and experience is a common point of discussion in any critical appraisal.
Macel Hamilton resides in the knobs of Casey County, Kentucky, a rural area in in which her menagerie of12 dogs and 12 cats is not that unusual. So why shouldn’t these plaintive yet precocious subjects serve as a valid expression of Hamilton’s environment? Hamilton was raised in the hills of Eastern Kentucky, so the attachment to the land and its non-human inhabitants comes naturally to Hamilton.
A nurse by profession, Hamilton has only been painting for about 4 years, and for having painted for so brief a time, there is authoritative us of the brush in capturing the details of this “Rooster” that is compelling. Nothing is overworked. The relative lack of experience seems to have merged with the intimate understanding of subject to finish a simple, naturalistic expression of wariness in this Bantam’s face. It is as individual as any portrait of a human subject.
Hometown: Ligon, Kentucky
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. In addition to his work at the LVA, Keith is also the Managing Editor of a website, Arts-Louisville.com, which covers local visual arts, theatre, and music in Louisville.