Lalita Hamill’s childhood exposure to visual art was limited. That was until a massive snowstorm left her unexpectedly stranded at her friend’s house for three days.
Until then, Hamill’s background was mainly music, academics, and competitive swimming – plus a degree in Philosophy earned at the University of Victoria.
“Though I was taught the skills needed to appreciate music and writing, I did not learn those same skills for visual art,” Hamill explained. “My parents would drag my sister and me to galleries when we travelled, but visual art didn’t really become part of my life until I was 24.”
With nothing to do during the snowstorm, Hamill pulled a book of black and white photos off of her shelf and drew for hours.
“I thought ‘that was fun, why haven’t I done this before’?”
Hamill began taking drawing lessons, eventually moving to Walnut Grove in in 2002.
A car accident in 2005 left her husband unable to work for four years, forcing her to become the sole breadwinner of the family.
“Within a year of the car accident, I realized that if I didn’t give my art and teaching a real shot, I would likely regret it. In short, I couldn’t not do it… I was compelled,” Hamill said. “Had the accident not happened, I doubt I would be a professional artist today.”
After taking on any art-related job she could get hands on in Langley-area and beyond, Hamill eventually facilitated art critiques for artists while teaching, painting, and exhibiting her work – all while raising three children.
Now, she has launched a new website to showcase current projects, provide insight into the artistic process, and showcase videos that will provide tips for art buyers, sellers, and artists of different stages.
“Many will be free, some art instruction videos will be for sale,” she said.
Having cultivated a broader and deeper understanding of art from the perspective of an artist, Hamill said her perspective and presentation differs from the standard approach.
“Art appreciation involves a balance between trusting our subjective, personal opinion, with an enhanced ability to identify quality work,” she said.
Anyone can join in for a Zoom session on July 18, which will act as a free art assessment and critique at 10 a.m.
Spots are limited to 15 for artists submitting work and 10 for art appreciators from the general public.
“At the start I will provide a painting – historical, my own, or a students – to demonstrate the assessment process,” Hamill said.
The session will be recorded and portions will be posted on YouTube as examples for others to see. Those participants who do not wish their face to be seen can turn off their video.
Artists will be given information about how to send Hamill two images 72 hours in advance.
Registrations close 48 hours ahead.
“I hope people will come away from my videos and projects feeling inspired to learn more about visual art,” Hamill noted. “I want to help people become comfortable, capable, and empowered to speak about visual art, to choose artwork to purchase, to paint quality work, and to appreciate art for ourselves.”
Hamill advised followers to keep an eye out for new classes, videos, and projects in the coming weeks.
People can visit www.lalitahamill.com to find out more.
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