© Photo courtesy of Vicki Hamende
Vicki Hamende is an innovative artist who will exhibit at Artscape at Dallas Arboretum April 28-29. The juried fine art and craft show and sale features over 90 artists showcasing their artwork amidst the spring blooming garden.
Hamende uses a combination of wood burning (pyrography) and oil paint for her Wonderwall Designs. This is the first time for Hamende to bring her artwork to Artscape, although she says
I have wanted to be part of this show for a while. I think that my work, which is nature inspired and predominately trees, will fit in nicely with the beautiful landscapes of the Dallas Arboretum.
Even at a young age I always had an artistic flare and an interest in art. I remember watching Bob Ross on PBS as a child, and I would try to create the same 'happy little trees' as he did with whatever I could find around the house.
While attending Texas State University, Hamende majored in Retail Management, but started taking art classes as electives. She focused on her husband's business and her children during several moves across state, but in 2010, when the family settled in the DFW area, she started working on her art.
In 2012, a DIY Christmas project introduced me to pyrography, Hamende said.
I made family members cutting boards that I decorated by using an inexpensive craft burner. The enjoyment from this project prompted me to learn more about wood burning, and before long it became an enjoyable past time. I started experimenting with the combination of wood burning and oil painting. In 2013 I started my business, Wonderwall Designs. I created a Facebook and Etsy page to sell my designs and made to order family trees. Quickly, many people took notice of my work and encouraged me to find additional places to promote my art. My first public art show was in the summer of 2014 in Salado, Texas. It was more than I ever expected. I was being called an artist. Though I am still exploring and developing my personal style, I am no longer in search of what I am going to be when I grow up.
Growing up in a small farming community in Texas, I carry a love for the country, nature, and a strong passion for family ties into my work. God's beauty is all around us. One of which is the tree. I enjoy creating trees. I see so much when I look at a tree. No two trees are ever alike. There is not a right or wrong look to a tree. They are beautiful in any season. They represent LIFE, GROWTH, CHANGE, PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE. I feel that trees are a great analogy to human life, Hamende said.
I build my own canvas out of Birch Plywood and back it with 1” pine framing, Hamende said.
My designs are burned into the wood. I refer to my technique as non-traditional because I gouge the wood with the burner giving the piece depth and texture. I accomplish this with high heat and lots of pressure. This makes the piece interesting to the touch as well as sight. Each piece is enhanced with oil paint. I hand rub the oil paints onto the wood in order to work the paint into the grain allowing the natural beauty of the wood grain to show through. The hard and soft grains of the wood take the paint differently which creates variations in the coloring. This adds another interesting layer to each piece. Generally, there will be areas of each piece that are burned only, areas of only paint, and sometimes I will layer the paint over the burned spots to combine the color and texture. I top-coat and seal each piece when finished to protect the piece and keep the colors from fading. No two pieces are ever alike, because each piece of wood is unique in itself and there is no way to replicate every line that I created while burning. I am most notable for my made-to-order, custom family trees. These are heirlooms in the making, representing up to six generations on one tree. I enjoy creating pieces centered on trees using vivid colors and textures. Many of my designs can be described as whimsical and dreamlike.
Hamende says she hopes her artwork
can trigger a memory or evoke a special feeling that is personal for the buyer.
Artscape at Dallas Arboretum is open to the public and free with paid admission to the garden.
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