With the outside world in quarantine, this Oklahoma artist retreated to an abstract world with no rules at all

Great State

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The only rule in Beth Hammack‘s busy art studio is that there are no rules.

“If it looks like total schlock, you don’t worry,” she smiles.

Hammack works on multiple paintings at once.

There are no distractions in abstractions.

New perspectives and new ideas arrive with every step, both forward and back.

As she paints, she tells us, “Every artist knows you have to stand back periodically to see just what you’ve got.”

So when the world began to shut down in 2020, as the pandemic closed in with new rules and lockdowns, Beth retreated more and more to a world of canvas where she could draw outside the lines.

“I had liberty. I had freedom,” she states. “I could paint colors however I wanted. I wasn’t disciplined by anything.”

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Beth Hammack

She stayed in here for months tinkering with colors.

‘Lockdown’ contains the shapes of key holes colored with angry reds.

“I decided to go back into a piece with a lot of dark colors,” she shows us.

One day Hammack just started to scribble ‘lemons to lemonade’ on canvas, and that might be where her color palette started to change.

Brighter colors came forth in response to the darkness outside.

Even her blues were happy ones.

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Oklahoma in the abstract.

Hammack insists, “Bright blues always make me think of how happy you can be on a good day in Oklahoma.”

After a year of painting, Hammack was ready to name her show at the JRB Gallery in the Paseo District.

Drawing on Walls‘ is perfect for her large canvasses and her rebellious response to being locked down.

“It was like taking a new adventure every day.”

She’s still an Okie at heart.

You can still find the shape of her state, identifying cities and regions.

The lines are there but the idea is always open to interpretation.

Great State is sponsored by WEOKIE Credit Union

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