Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bill Hemmerling's Art

While we were in Baton Rouge, we visited a little complex that we enjoy.  It is on a corner and has an antique & salvage shop, a yoga studio, an art gallery, a salon, and a gift shop.  This time, I wandered into the art gallery and was immediately taken with the painting by Bill Hemmerling.

Fee had been wandering around in another store, and when I found him, I asked what he thought.  He, too, felt drawn to Hemmerling's work.  We ended up buying "Blackberry Street" and finding out a lot more about Bill Hemmerling from the gallery owner who knew him personally and collects "Bill Stories." 

You can read more about him here, in "So Long, Bill Hemmerling," an article from blog of new orleans after his death in 2009.

Equal parts Forrest Gump, Clementine Hunter and Gandhi, Bill was the only man I’ve ever known who completely detached himself from the material world. He worked 35 years for Sears stores across Louisiana as an arranger of floor and shelf displays. When Sears laid him off, he thought his life was over. Turns out his forced retirement from Sears was the best thing that could have happened to him. At the age of 59, he began his career as a primitive folk artist. He never had an art lesson in his life.--from the article "So Long, Bill Hemmerling"
An Artist's Eden: Whimsical Retreat in Ponchatoula  shows his home, studio, and garden.


  1. Great piece! very quilty looking too.

    Sometimes a forced change is just the change a person needs.

  2. You are right--it does look quilty! In fact all of his quilts have that quality.

  3. I mean, all of his paintings have a quilty quality!

  4. a marvelous find. (acey)


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