Zac Hampson: A contemporary traditionalist

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  • By: Kerry-Anne Blanket
  • Wednesday 22nd April 2020
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I am often asked two key questions by collectors; what to look for when investing in art and who are the up and coming artists on the KAB Gallery radar? Both are extremely good questions to consider when buying art in the current market. I always explain the golden rules of looking for quality, versatility, broad appeal, and a professional artist with a good proven sales history.

But when considering an up-and-coming artist there isn’t likely to be much sales history to review for sales patterns and quantitative investment clues. This means apart from the artist’s contemporary exhibition and prize successes combined with a possibly inconsistent pattern of supply and demand information, your investment strategy will need to include some of the more qualitative gauges. My view when investing in a contemporary up-and-coming artist is to keep in mind there are of course no guarantees. However through study of the artist’s creative and technical strengths, their personal commitment to art practice and even the quality of their art training and/or key artist mentors, you can always tease out the information you need to inform a successful investment purchase. 

If you are following the Australian art market I would definitely keep an eye on contemporary up and coming artist Zac Hampson. His style has really developed over the past couple of years and his commitment to the traditions of the great artists before him is both inspiring and remarkable for a contemporary painter. Zac Hampson is mindful of his creative growth and self aware of his practice’s development. He explains that his art is in a state of perpetual evolution. “As I learn new things or discover different colour harmonies or find new artists that inspire me, these things push me as an artist to become more than I was yesterday” he noted during an interview with me earlier this year. 

 

Zac Hampson
A contemporary plein air painter on the KAB Gallery investment radar

 Zac Hampson’s eye for detail and commitment to practice both in the studio and en plein air combined with his talented brush skills and broadly appealing painterly style makes his work unique.

 

“I am proud to be an artist and that I’m part of a legacy that stretches back to the first drawing on a cave wall”

His genuine love for oil painting en plein air shines through, with each work lovingly create with its own unique composition and beauty. I think his understanding of perspective and composition forms, light and direction is impressive, adding to the mood of each painting. When looking at the painted surface, the landscapes glow and position the viewer within the scene to share his outlook. Whether the tone is crisp and bright or earthy and transcended, his juxtaposition of light and dark creates a definite glow. 

“Honestly any of my plein air series are always the most enjoyable to create, although it’s often times more rough to hike out to locations and the weather most times isn’t clear and sunny, it always makes for an enjoyable experience.” explains Zac Hampson

Zac Hampson creates beautiful oil paintings which set the ambiance perfectly in any room. His current body of work is a contemporary take on the traditional landscape genre. With a contemporary brush in hand he heads to each location and creates in the tradition of en plein air. The scene before him takes centre stage as he experiences the environmental elements while painting. 

 

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Plein-air painting has found a resurgence among contemporary landscape painters, not only in Australia but throughout the world. In the last decade I have watched the number of artists who opt to paint outdoors in the manner of their creative predecessors significantly increasing. It seems many of today’s artists are seeking to renew their appreciation for the natural landscape and revive artistic traditions which have been substituted by technology and studio comforts. Zac Hampson is doing just this with many smart enhancements to the process. From basic modifications of his easel to completely new methods of scouting locations and viewpoints using social media and access maps, Zac is taking these traditions to new levels.

While plein air painting needs to be meticulously planned and artists arrange their tools with considerable preparation, Zac Hampson told me that he is always ready to paint and often spontaneity leads to his best work. On a recent sunny day he said “The scene was calling to be painted and I knew I just had to set up and capture it! Feeling so alive and burning with just joy and needing to paint!” 

He is always packed and equipped with a traditional Pochade plein air painting box that he mounts onto a tripod. A Pochade Box is a compact artists box specially designed for those who prefer to paint outdoors or ‘plein air’. The box has a hinged lid that not only serves as the box’s lid but also supports the canvas or board to paint on. Inside the box is the palette, paints and tools. The term ‘Pochade’ is derived from the nineteenth century French verb Poche, which is a type of sketch used in painting. There are many different styles, sizes and inclusions but the modern pochade boxes are now designed to be mounted onto a camera tripod as a support to make it even easier for artists to set up in various terrain – even the dry and sandy Australian coast.

 

Zac Hampson’s Pochade Box on a tripod.

Zac Hampson’s luxe works are created on board with premium oil paint and linseed medium from Australian Art Spectrum with the finest quality artists brushes from Rosemary & Co. He says “Oil is always my medium of choice, it’s the most versatile, strongest, vibrant and overall enjoyable medium to paint with.”

Each artwork is varnished with care and then presented in a contemporary frame ready for you to enjoy in your space. Even when framing his art, quality is everything to Zac and he only trusts the experienced team at Framing Alternative. They are experts at handling his work and have been doing so for years. Each painting is positioned into a stylish frame for finish, secured with conservation grade materials and mindfully prepped for hanging with D-rings and cords verso. It’s all about quality from start to finish and this is just another tick on the investment checklist. 

When considering any art investment I also believe in the importance of loving the art you buy! Not only will this increase the chances of someone else loving the art enough to buy it from you in the future (thereby allowing you to realise your investment return), but you can also enjoy the beauty of your investment every day. While you must approach the purchase of an investment somewhat dispassionately to enable you to weight up the pros and cons, at the end of the day art is a creative medium designed to provoke emotion. Zac Hampson’s art is something you will easily fall in love with and certainly ticks many boxes in my process of investing in art. 

This exhibition of new works at KAB Gallery is a highlight of Zac Hampson’s newest en plein air paintings. Audiences are welcomed to view this atmospheric series presented exclusively at KAB Gallery. The paintings feature a unique and sophisticated Autumn palette depicting locations on the Cenral Coast of NSW. These artworks ooze quality and visual charm, they are new treasures that I’m sure will be loved for generations to come. If you are lucky enough to make one (or more) of them yours you can purchase knowing that it’s not just an artwork, it’s an original en plein air painting by Zac Hampson! 

Viewing is welcome from at KAB Gallery by appointment, with special meet the artist opportunities coming up in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions. We look forward to introducing you to this exciting Australian artist!

 

Rolling Storm – The Haven

 

 

Kerry-Anne Blanket, Director & Curator - KAB Gallery
About the author

Kerry-Anne Blanket

Director & Curator - KAB Gallery

KAB Gallery’s Kerry-Anne Blanket holds a Bachelor of Visual Arts and two Masters degrees (Hons) from the University of Sydney. With an extensive career in art education along with the management of museums and investment art galleries, Kerry-Anne can offer premier art consulting to her clients and source specially requested works. 

She has a keen eye for detail, comprehensive art market knowledge and a love of all things beautiful. Kerry-Anne works directly with artists and collectors alike to curate interesting and eclectic exhibitions.