4.4.19 Ben Hamburger – French Broad River Park

Photo by Don Osterberg


Ben Hamburger launched our 2019 season with a great demo at the French Broad River Park. We also had the first truly beautiful spring day with a great artist turn out.

Ben started by blocking in the under-painting in acrylics. His subject was a tree, with character, by the river. He finished the painting in oils. Ben was very gracious answering all of our questions. We had a wonderful painting day.


Ben HamburgerOil

Artist Ben Hamburger in his Chapel Hill studio 2019.

Paint-Out Location: French Broad River Park, 508 Riverview Dr, Asheville, NC 28806, USA (map)

Painter, socially engaged artist, and educator, Ben Hamburger is driven by art’s potential to unite and find meaning in complex situations. Based in North Carolina, Hamburger works both outdoors (en plein air) and in-studio, and is known for his bold brushwork and high-contrast paintings depicting a wide range of subject matter.

Hamburger regularly facilitates workshops and has taught in schools, universities, cultural institutions, and nonprofit organizations around the United States, as well as Bolivia, Thailand, and India.

Hamburger holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Arts from Eckerd College and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Community Arts from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). In 2018, Hamburger was the recipient of an Orange County Arts Council Artist Grant and his work was awarded First Place in Orange County’s annual Plein Air Painting Event. Hamburger ’s work has been exhibited internationally in numerous group and solo exhibitions and is part of the permanent collection of the City of New Orleans, Tulane Medical School and private collections around the world.

Please see his website for contact information.  benhamburgerart.com

Questions for the Artist

What do you feel is your greatest strength as a plein air painter?
My ability to simplify a scene into shapes of light and dark quickly and effectively.

What are three tips that you have gained that have made a difference in your painting?
1. Work thin to establish the image before using thick paint.
2. A good notan is the foundation for a good painting.
3. You can paint plein air using simple acrylic under-paintings, then oil on top.

What are you working to improve upon?
Color- While I think in terms of value first, I am always working on ways of diversifying the ways I see, understand, and use color to make my paintings stronger and more exciting.

“Finleys Shed” 14×18

“Foreground Trees” 12×9

“Gorge Sunrise” 11×14


Short Video


Gallery of images from April 4th

Note: The gallery photos were taken by  Rosemarie Robuck