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Saskatchewan Woman Creates Lifelike Art

Shei la Mur ray-Hammel brings animals to life on paper with her pencil. She was born in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan and raised on the Bitter Lake Community Pasture near there.

“Growing up in ranching country I learned about Prairie life and what it means to be a country girl. My dad taught me how to ride and eventually how to break horses as well as rope sick calves, cows and bulls, then treat them for their illness. I also learned how to harness a team of horses plus trim their feet and shoe them. We looked after patrons’ cattle from May to October each year and the PFRA bulls for the winter months. In our spare time, we would team rope. I was a header,” said Hammel.

Hammel has been drawing since she was a young girl using what she saw and learned as a hired hand on a PFRA pasture. She has been showing and selling her work since 1999.

“I took art classes throughout high school from an excellent art teacher, Bonnie Deis. After I finished school I continued to learn on my own. I pay close attention to proportion and detail in my drawings. My work is all done freehand form, which means I don’t graph, thumbnail or trace any of my drawings,” said Hammel.

Hammel’s artwork is mostly pencil sketches. She sells limited edition prints along with her originals. Most of her work is western and wildlife but she has done buildings, farmyards, gas wells and rigs. She also does a lot of custom work for people.

“I spend most of my time preparing for and travelling to gift and craft shows that take place all year long across Canada. I mat and frame my prints myself. The frames I buy from a gallery in Swift Current,” said Hammel.

Hammel is internationally known, having her work in Holland, England, Japan, Germany

and the United States. She makes calendars along with stationery, magnets, T-shirts and greeting cards every year featuring her artwork. Her 10-year-old daughter, Jessica enjoys going to shows and helping her mom when she can.

Hammel promotes her artwork on her website She makes her home in the country near Sceptre, Saskatchewan near to where she finds many subjects for her artwork.

Joan Airey writes from Rivers, Manitoba

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