The Man Behind the Brush
by Susie Hammel
Jerry Hammel was a very quiet, sensitive and unique man who had style, panache, talent and humor. And through his paintings he spoke. Being an artist was one of the things that gave him happiness and allowed him the freedom to do as he enjoyed.
He started his career as a graphic designer and a commercial artist, but his real loves were his paintings and sketches. Oh, how he enjoyed drawing curvaceous bodies, doing the makeup, clothes and all the details that made “his ladies” original and beautiful. There were some full of humor, some caricatures, some serious and some whimsical. He was able to blend his rich talent between Art Deco and Victorian.
The vibrant colors and the graphic designs of the people he illustrated speak to the complexities of his life made simple in line, form, elegance and strength. He had high expectations of himself and saw no shades of grey. Although Jerry’s art was filled with color, he lived in a world of black and white; Jerry was a perfectionist. Those who knew Jerry admired his creativity, his artistic expressions and his gifted, multi-faceted nature. He never was able to value the uniqueness others saw in him. Others saw what Jerry could not appreciate in himself.
Jerry always needed paper to be available so that he could sketch whatever caught his eye – even when away from “his board”. At restaurants he would sketch on a dinner napkin. He had excellent taste in clothes. He wore a “Greek” cap, smoked a pipe, wore ascots, French cuff shirts, beautiful cuff links – and – never wore jeans.
As you see his paintings, you will find him to be very sensitive and tender, with the heart and soul of an artist.
See Jerry Hammel’s Work in Person at Village Frame & Gallery
If you haven’t had a chance to see this show, make time before the end of October. This is a large exhibit, but several pieces have already found their forever homes. In the meantime, here are a few pieces that illustrate why Hammel’s work is so popular with those who have seen it: