“After 41 years of working as a graphic designer, photographer and as owner of a marketing firm, it is time for me to do what I have always wanted to do, art for art’s sake. I am ready to do the art that inspires me instead of clients giving me art direction.”
Larry Hampton’s elementary school didn’t offer art classes, so he taught himself until he was a teenager and took classes at the Art Academy of Cincinnati.
“Around the age of six (1951), I started drawing portraits that were of a good likeness,” said Larry. “I enjoyed working in chalk and pencil, creating portraits from photos in the family album.”
At the Art Academy, he took classes in painting, sculpture, photography, graphics and illustration from working artists. One of his instructors, Charley Harper, had a great influence on Larry.
Best known for his highly stylized wildlife prints, posters and book illustrations, Harper taught Larry “that you could work in the field of graphic design for a steady income and also in fine art as a career choice.”
After he graduated from the Academy and served in the Army in Vietnam, Larry started working as a graphic designer. That’s also when he began creating color pencil landscapes that were reproduced as limited edition prints.
His subjects include landscapes and old covered bridges, gas stations and gas pumps. He plans to extend his collection to include seascapes and antique sailing vessels from around the world, and images of the Manong or Montagnard tribe that he lived with for nearly a year in Southeast Asia.
The Vanderburgh County artist sometimes collaborates with another Indiana Artisan, his wife, fiber artist Karen Hampton.
“We live and eat art,” said Larry. “We work together in business producing graphics and we also work together in fine art.”
In late 2011, the couple was creating a new series called Tree of Life using a process that combines another of Larry’s art interests, photography, and Karen’s fiber work. “I combine photos digitally and Karen and I work together on the design to produce the image, which is printed on fabric,” he explained. “Then Karen embellishes with sewing.”
Being part of Indiana Artisan gives Larry an incentive to create. “I live in an area that has an increasing appreciation for art,” he said. “I am honored to be part of Indiana Artisan, which gives me the chance to meet and see the art of others.”