In the late 60’s, after spending my university years studying the masters, I let go of them and began studying myself. I realized for an artist to develop himself he needs to understand what drives him to create, and embark on his own journey as a creator. I knew only through that journey could I get close to finding myself, and the truth art holds for me.
As a result, my earlier landscape style developed into what’s now an abstracted, expressionistic style, using bending lines and light play, and rich, generously applied colors to achieve mood and movement.
As for my purely abstract paintings, they were derived from the many shapes, symbols, movements and forces that nature kept offering me, and re-enforcing to me, as I worked on my landscapes. To some, my abstracts and landscapes might seem tangential, barely connected, but in essence they are one. They’re two rays off the same sun.
It’s no accident that after 50 years of studying myself, I feel that I am finally the master of my own creative forces. I don’t just paint the canvas – I am the painter within the painting. My work is my signature.
Meet The Artist
Come to Waukesha Civic Theatre during the Downtown Waukesha Art Crawl on August 7, 2021 from 6pm – 7:30pm to meet Derek!
The Art Crawl takes place from 4 – 9 p.m.
*Bar will be openDowntown Waukesha Art Crawl Info
Derek Hambly was born in Melbourne, Australia. As a young boy, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, he was full of ideas, but short on drawing paper. Eventually, his parents discovered that he had satisfied his need to draw by filling virtually every spot in all of the books in their library; he had covered title pages, margins, and any place that was void of words with drawings. Then, after coming of age, and having shown genuine ability, he enrolled in Caulfield College, now Monash University, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1967.
While tuition at Caulfield College was free, art supplies were not. This financial burden was, however, alleviated when Derek found that his work was indeed already profitable. Derek’s mother assisted him by selling his landscape paintings to business acquaintances and University faculty alike. Even as a student, almost every work he produced was sold, which garnered him significant recognition.
Thanks, in part, to that recognition, in 1967 Derek was honored to be invited to be the sole artist on site during the construction of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. He was commissioned by the museum’s architect, Sir Roy Grounds, to record, through both drawing and painting, this exciting phase of the creation of a major, international art museum.
Later, in a continuing effort to study himself, Hambly noticed repeating shapes and movements in his landscapes, and eventually worked them into some of the many symbols he would soon use in his abstract works. In fact, Derek’s first professional, solo exhibition, mounted in 1969 at Gallery 99 in Melbourne, featured his bold, new abstract paintings. Since those days, abstraction has become Derek’s major career focus, but he continues to enjoy producing an abundance of luscious, landscape scenes in oil, continuing what he has done so well since the 60’s.
Hambly has been commissioned to paint hundreds of paintings of homes and properties, favorite views, lakes, rivers, gardens, along with abstracted paintings, triptychs, and wall or ceiling mural pieces. His landscape and abstract works have been admired, purchased and can be found in countries across the world.