Artist Focus: Hamish Herd

“It is my hope that the viewer is drawn into my work and finds a moment caught in time with the Creator”


Hamish Herd invites you into exploring the emotional journey of his relationship with God and his career as an artist. A story of travel and change, the life of Hamish Herd is exciting and inspirational for those that do not want to give up on their aspirations. It has been a wonderful pleasure having the opportunity to listen to Hamish’s experiences, and The Circle Gallery is excited to share it with you too.

Born in Durban South Africa, Hamish Herd began his journey of inspiration to becoming the soulful artist that he is today. Hamish grew up by the Mediterranean coast of Durban, which he knew as ‘The Wild Coast’ due to its temperamental and dramatic state. Often found sitting under the veranda in his childhood home with his father, Hamish spent time watching the peaceful ocean turn into raging storms. The time spent with his father watching these electric storms ignited the initial stages of creating. With such raw expression of power witnessed as a child, but in the safety of his father’s presence, Hamish described feeling a beautiful sense of calm and wonder. Hamish had a Christian upbringing, which enabled him to feel at peace with the extreme weather conditions, this invoked a need to convey his experience through painting. Christianity still plays a tremendous part in Hamish’s life, as he feels that his creative talents stem from God’s plan for him. Through his faith, Hamish explains that he feels closer to God and will always find new and wonderful experiences to paint. These paintings are not captured in a photograph to refer to, but rather, they are from his mind’s eye entwined with the state of emotion at that time.



Learning a new trade

Hamish went on to achieve a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History, as although painting was his passion, Hamish found that the trials of becoming a successful artist in South Africa posed difficult at best. This paved the way for a career in teaching art in Secondary School. However, it was the words of his father stating: “Those that can do, do it, and those that can’t, teach it”, this gave Hamish the drive to give up teaching after five years, and begin his journey as an artist. These words along with his close relationship with his father, continued to motivate Hamish throughout the beginning of his career. Starting as a sculpture for commercial businesses, Hamish has sculpted large Jesonite pieces for various casinos. His sculptures are extremely detailed and beautiful to behold, a skill that Hamish still uses to this day on a smaller scale. The choice of Jesonite as a sculpting material was due to its malleable state, Hamish found it easy to manipulate the material, bringing his visions to life. Sculptures of horses and people in impressionist form were frequently commissioned for commercial buildings. Painting became more frequent for Hamish in his career, using his ever-changing surroundings for inspiration. By incorporating both his sculpting and painting talents, Hamish created his unique style which transpired into his 3D pieces such as ‘Tree’.


Hamish married his now wife, Brenda Herd, who is also an artist and devout Christian, speaking highly of their shared values and passions for creativity and spirituality. They have four children together, who also share the couples’ artistic talents and love of nature. After spending most of his life in South Africa, Brenda and Hamish decided that there were more opportunities for recognition of their artwork in England. They moved to the Yorkshire Dales, a migrancy of no ease for a family of six starting a new life. The contrast between Durban and Yorkshire life was described as tremendous, but wildly exciting for the Herd family. Where Hamish once painted the raging seas of ‘The Wild Coast’ and sculpting for casinos, he now had the mesmerising star-scapes of The Dales to draw inspiration from. Comparing his previous artwork to his more recent ones, the subject matter is immensely different. Recent artwork has been painted with new views of the starry night sky, also incorporating memories of his emotions and views in South Africa. Hamish speaks of the incomparable beauty of the night sky in the Dales, which holds volumes of bright stars including a view of the Milky Way. Painting with Brenda in their studio on site, has secured his faith in Christianity even more due to the unworldly views that his English home sits amongst. Now days, Hamish spends his time working on multiple pieces a week, producing an impressive volume of work that are all individual to his talent. This posed the question of whether Hamish and Brenda often shared creative ideas for their next pieces. However, Hamish states that their artistic identities are very different, bringing the uniqueness of each of their personalities, so their artwork remains individual. Hamish spoke of 80s music along with heavy metal music carrying his muse for painting, although, to no preference of Brenda’s liking in their shared creative space.

“I try to create an emotional response to my work. My paintings are not about trying to depict reality in what I see, but rather a moment of emotional and spiritual revelation a Damascus moment so to speak”

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