STORM is an invitational exhibition originally organized and presented by the Deines Center in Russell, then expanded as the anchor of our Summer Art Walk. The collection features works by regional artists, inspired by literal and figurative storms. . . whether atmospheric, socio-political, or internal - some are dramatic, some whimsical. The photo gallery below features each included artist and one of their works.
Overland Park, KS
"Intense with Calm"
After retirement from a career in health care, Margie Hammerschmidt studied horticulture and became a Certified Master Gardener. It was her study of botanical illustrations that ignited her desire to create her own art images. So in January 2020, she began to set aside time to create fine art.
Watercolor is her preferred medium. She finds joy in how the translucency of the pigment allows the white paper to glow from beneath. Margie often paints from photographs of plant specimens from her own gardens, and takes inspiration from nature and other personal connections.
The Hays Arts Council is proud to present Margie's first public exhibition "Two Years With Brush 'n Paint"
From the artist:
"What was it that actually influenced my artistic ability the most? Well, I guess it was a little fluke in my brain and something I was completely unaware of until very late in life. I had a learning disability, but I didn’t know it and maybe it was best that I didn’t. In the 1950’s and 60’s, I was diagnosed by my teachers and peers as stupid and lazy. All I had to do was apply myself and I’d be as productive as everyone else. Believe me, there would have been no greater joy in my life than to be like everyone else.
Art & speech class seemed to be the only places I could excel. I actually did better in the speech class, because it had the least pressure on me to conform. Art class in high school was really geared to conformity, but I could at least fake conformity there and thus, I survived to graduate. I even ended up with a Master’s degree in art from Fort Hays State University. I was eventually drafted, went to Vietnam, came home, got married, had kids, went back to college on the GI bill, got a teaching certificate and taught junior high school art in Great Bend, Kansas for nine years.
I hadn’t gone to college to hone my handwriting skills, but realized it was my own style and I didn’t have to work at anything special to produce that style. I just moved my pen on a paper and there it was without the slightest effort. Why couldn’t I just do the same thing in drawing and painting as when I wrote? So, I just simply started drawing and all the magic began to happen. My wonderful screwed up brain, with all its crazy way of seeing things just locked on to that freedom and off I went.
One of my two wonderful, talented daughters diagnosed this old head as ADHD and maybe my own little diagnosis of dyslexia has cleared up the mystery as to why I had such a horrible time in school. Still, all that being said, being stupid and lazy on one side of my head helped the other side to become more developed. My brain just waited until I decided to stop trying so hard to conform to be with all those other motivated folks. It just waited until I finally did what came natural.
For me, creating is really just a matter of lines, and it just kind of goes through my mind. It’s kind of a meditative state that I get into. It’s like an addiction. I’ve got to have it. I wake up in the morning, and all I want to do is draw. People try too hard sometimes. They talk about “working on their style.” Your style is already there. Some artists stay on the same thing forever. Me? I just can’t do that."