Kimberly Hempel: As we go through our day we happen upon objects that tell a story of use. What I enjoy doing is finding the right viewpoint to capture the moment. We are never quite sure why something was forgotten, lost, or left behind, but in this narrative, there is a something beautiful. For me, it’s about looking for the beauty of everything around me. I feel as though I’m obsessed with the way light falls upon objects. I can find the allure in a piece of trash, or in the way a viewpoint provides the perfect setting for a picture. I’m always looking for that next inspiration for a work of art. I love the challenge of creating narratives in my works.
My current works feature still life in landscape, and explorations of interior settings as well. Using vintage and antique toys I introduce them into the environment to create the narrative of abandonment through placement and interaction with what is already there. Abandonment is an interesting narrative because it is an action that is intentional or unintentional. My paintings document the narrative of abandonment in a found narrative style as signs of human use no matter it’s intention. That is why I love the intimacy of everyday objects and the nostalgia of antique or vintage toys as subjects. In my home studio, I work mostly with photo references to create oil paintings from my travels. When possible I work plein air to capture the mood of the light. I work from direct observation when possible and from photographic reference when the weather is inhospitable. Working from photographic references allows me to make a record of what I see and spend time in my studio translating that image on to the canvas.
With looking for beauty in all things around me, I’m inspired to create a variety of works that range from still life to landscapes and sometimes combine them. What I expect of my audience is for them to connect to the places I depict and the objects that I choose through the emotional quality of light. Ultimately it is my goal to convey the beautiful found in common everyday life that surrounds us.