Blanco Library

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John Hamilton Legacy Collection 2017

John Hamilton Legacy Collection

Blanco Library’s new wing will feature a painting from the John Hamilton Legacy Collection.  Titled Morning Field, this artwork is a delightful vignette from the vast collection of sketches and oil paintings by the late John Hamilton. This work will hang in the new wing of the library like a window open to the Hill Country. The image, just like a book, draws you into it..down a dirt road .. and down to the river.  This piece was painted on the Hearn Ranch around 1989. Mrs. Hearn was a wonderful benefactor of John’s work giving him permission to paint anywhere he liked on the Hearn Ranch.  Hamilton traversed much of the river valley painting the interior of nature on the Cox Ranch, Craft Ranch and others.

After graduating from UT Austin in 1969 with a degree in theater, he taught for a year at Vassar College. Then he moved to New York City where he worked a year for a Broadway producer and learned the downside of show business.  Friends urged him to follow his natural talent for the visual arts.  They gave him art supplies and he began to proliferate.  Caring little for cityscapes, John sought the most beautiful outdoor places recreating the powerful serenity of each natural setting in oils on canvas or watercolor sketches.  He was drawn to paint in wide open spaces.  Once again, encouraged by friends, John relocated to rural Blanco County in 1983 where he found his true artistic heart painting wild landscapes of the Hill Country in the Blanco area.

One may initially consider Hamilton's work impressionist but upon further consideration you see that Hamilton was a student of light.  What he conveyed in his paintings was the light of Texas be it the glistening gold light of fall or the blinding white hot brightness of late July.  Even deeper within his skills to convey true colors, Hamilton captured the feeling of a place.  As you gaze at his art, note how it makes you feel.

John died July 31, 1995 leaving a collection of artwork encompassing approximately 600 oil paintings, plus countless works on paper, custom designs, sculptures, illustrated short stories and musings. His proliferate work is found in numerous private and corporate collections around the world.  Some may recall the exhibit of John's work at the dedication of the Old Blanco County Courthouse.

David Derrenbacher and Rebecca Doll, curators of the John Hamilton Legacy Collection, offer the Blanco community a part of it’s rich cultural heritage.  The Blanco Library’s District Board of Trustees is pleased to have this gem displayed for public viewing in the reading room of the new wing.