During the last twenty five years Roy Hammond has built up a devoted following for his watercolours through eight sell-out shows at the Chris Beetles Gallery, St James’s, London, including Journey Down the Nile (1987), In Istanbul (1988), Roy Hammond’s London (1990) and Roy Hammond’s Travels (1992). Each exhibition has focused on his responses to particular locations, both domestic and foreign, so that his oeuvre as a whole suggests an artist in the tradition of the Victorian or Edwardian travelling painter; he has shown allegiance to Turner and Goodwin in his ‘souvenirs’, a term which also calls to mind the work of Brabazon.
In his youth Roy Hammond had some success as a footballer playing for Ilford, Barking and other Essex teams and earning the name of 'indefatigable'. This sobriquet equally describes Roy Hammond as artist for, while maintaining a modest, even self-deprecating stance, he works with determination. Painting for him is not an activity which relaxes; he finds it ‘either exhilarating or depressing’ and always a challenge. He compares his artistic endeavors to his former career as an Engineering Designer for Ford Motors, explaining that an engineering background has encouraged him to act opportunistically, always making the best of circumstances.
Since his retirement, Roy Hammond has devoted his time to painting and has developed and strengthened his unique approach.
Working as a member of the exclusive Wapping Group of Artists, he has learnt most from the group by defining his differences from it. While other members of the Wapping Group set to work immediately, tending to complete paintings on site, Roy Hammond approaches a landscape more slowly, making watercolour sketches to be finished or reworked in the studio.
During a period of travel, Roy Hammond hopes to finish four or five studies in a day. Having found a suitable view, he sits down to work and begins immediately in watercolour on paper, finding as a draughtsman that pencil is too familiar and facile a medium. Accepting a long gestation period, he often returns to these sketches after months, even years, to find both solutions to old problems and fresh paintings in tried compositions; a new vigour has recently developed through working on a larger scale. Taking a craftsman’s approach to the art of watercolour, he builds a picture in stages, gladly enlisting any technique to achieve the intended effect. Careful to avoid fussy gestures, he concentrates upon the special atmosphere of each place that he visits.