Cyril Hamersma - Artist

Cyril Hamersma - Artist
Hamersma - Artist at Work

Cyril Hamersma - Artist - 1919 to 1994

Also a prolific writer and inventor . . .
Born 1919, London
Painted from an early age
Served in Royal Army Medical
Corps 1939-45
Taught art to fellow prisoners in Stalag VIIIB
Caring jobs
throughout his life to make ends meet
Married and with four daughters
Died 1994, Essex
This man could paint. See his self-portraits: 1965, 1983, 1992. See his landscapes, 'The Cornfield' and his nudes. He also understood the value of abstract art in touching people's awareness and he conveyed ideas through images which provoked enlightenment, pleasure and emotion in the viewers. Hamersma’s artwork regularly focused on the simple things in life: a juicy red apple; a welcoming pot of tea; a freshly fried egg – the basics of which he was, along with many thousands of men, deprived for four years as a prisoner of war in Germany in World War II. Abstract explorations were similarly derivative. He was fascinated by ‘the line’ in art. Where does one object finish and another begin, when you look at them as a two dimensional image? And every object is made up of cells, minuscule cells invisible to the naked eye but Hamersma exploded ideas and looked further into them, painting and drawing ‘cells’; images made up of cells; ‘metaphysical cell structures’ which led him to invent the Squircle. It was his Squircle work that became the pinnacle. “The Squircle is Art, Science and Religion – together in one image,” he said in January 1994. “Light invites everyone to join the fight against the darkness. Our hearts and eyes are drawn together to eliminate and squeeze,” he wrote in March 1994

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

A Very Early Hamersma Painting

This beautiful oil painting is almost undoubtedly a Hamersma picture. It was found in a charity shop where its owner fell in love with it and contacted me for verification.
At first sight it looks far too conventional to be a Hamersma picture but as a family we know that as a young artist struggling to make ends meet, Hamersma painted 'Chocolate Box Pictures' and literally sold them to companies that produced elaborately illustrated boxes of chocolate. I am talking about the 1950s or earlier.

The colours have lost their lustre somewhat because of age and probably dirt and nicotine but the thickness of paint and number of colours used are typical of Hamersma's pictures.

As every artist knows, it's quite hard to make your signature look 'normal' when painting it and Hamersma was renowned for not signing but if he did I believe this is pretty close to how it would look in the early days.

It is possible there's a painting (or a bit of one) underneath the one you see because Hamersma would re-use a board if he was short of money to buy another (and this is most probable). Sometimes this accounted for the thickness of paint - although he did love thick paint in all its wonderful colours!