One of my favorite things about having the KK headquarters in Austin’s vibrant East Side neighborhood is that we are surrounded by creatives, literally on every side. Just a few blocks from the bungalow is the sunny studio of painter, Hallie Hamilton. We love the bold use of color in her signature floral paintings, so we stopped by to catch up with the painter on her current inspirations for a chat session in a setting that is basically my happy place — coffee in hand. outside. barefoot. creating.
What were your early creative pursuits as a child?
My mom said that when I was a toddler, she used to place me in front of a Playskool easel with markers and I’d entertain myself for hours. Luckily, that child-like wonder and enjoyment of art has stuck with me. Art class in lower school was never long enough, that short hour would fly by every day ,and I longed for more.
How did you get into painting?
Around middle school, our curriculum rotated to music, drama and art class, but that still wasn’t enough art for me. My parents were kind enough to enroll me in an after school art class, so I could feed that hunger. I cherished those nights where I had multiple hours dedicated to learning about art. Later in high school, I enrolled into Parsons Summer Intensive Studies program in NYC and I had an incredible experience. The energy of the city and the long eight hour classes filled my heart right up!
Why is Austin a great place to be an artist?
Austin is a great place to be an artist because art is approachable and creatives are embraced. There is everything from museums and galleries to art initiatives like the EAST Austin Studio Tour that allows the public to directly connect with artists and their creative spaces. East Austin has become a hub for creatives and it’s important to cultivate that community and learn from one another.
What’s currently inspiring you?
My current inspiration has been my interpretation of the oil and gas industry. I’ve recently created several extra large contemporary pieces that reflect the movement of energy under the soil. The sheer size of the pieces demands an immediate interaction with the viewer to take in the entire piece. There is a lot of texture and movement in these bold works. This series contemplates the cyclical oil and gas industry that I grew up around in West Texas.
Tell us more about your beautiful flower paintings?
These are a modern-day take on the classic floral still-life. They are created using a reverse approach where the colors are laid down first and then the negative space is painted out. This creates a very contemporary and bold appearance in the paintings. I never get tired of looking at flowers, whether real or in a painting.
Where can people see your work in person?
People can find my work at Bee Street Gallery in Dallas and Fort Worth and Kelly D Kennedy Fine Art in Midland. I also show directly from my studio in Austin by appointment. I’m available for commission.
Hallie picked a few KK goodies from the Love Collection and she chose the Bees Knees Phone Case because she loves the new take on the classic #kkprint and the Watermarks Journal because it reminds her of brush strokes and it will be the perfect on-the-go journal for her to keep in her bag and to sketch her inspirations!
To see more of Hallie’s work, visit halliehamiltonart.com.