Artist Q and A with Gwynn Hamilton

Gwynn Hamilton is a seasoned Gobble de Art artist that has been with the program since the beggining. When she's not busy painting Hokie Birds, you can find her and her husband at the local Blacksburg Farmer's Market, or helping around the farm.

Q. How did you get involved with the Gobble de Art program?

A. I worked with the Downtown Merchants and through that, I was involved with The Blacksburg Partnership. I have seen the cows and lobster that other communities have, so I was excited to see what a program like that would be like within our own community. I submitted a design and signed up. I painted birds within the initial flock, so I have been a bird painter since the very beginning. If I am trying to make small talk with someone, or if I am playing a party game, my little-known fact is that I paint Hokie Birds.

Q. What is the most challenging aspect?

A. I like the design process and the challenge of trying to implement the clients vision on an nontraditional surface. That is the most challenging part of painting the Hokie Birds— the bumpy nature of the surface. The most difficult bird that I ever painted was from a Northern Virginia affiliate of Virginia Tech. The client was hoping for a lot of architectural rendering on arms and chest of the Hokie Bird. I found that you must find some middle ground of impressionism because you’re not going to get it exact.

Q. What was your favorite bird to work on?

A. I was most pleased with the one I finished, the Theodore Roosevelt Hokie. I didn’t have to do architectural rendering and I could make it look like a bird but with famous features. I got to do research on Theodore Roosevelt, which was fun because I used to work at Frederic Remington Art Museum in New York. Frederic Remington painted Theodore Roosevelt, so I got to pull that information from my experience and use it again.

Q. When you’re not painting Hokie Birds, what kind of art do you like to do?

A. I love oil painting, but I have simplified my life and try to do water colors because the cleanup is easier. I like to do Georgia O’ Keeffe style paintings. I’ll take something small in nature and blow it up really big. I enjoy painting nuts, walnut pods and seed pods.

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