Jamie Hansen: Illustration and Fine Art
What is it that you want? Where do you want to go? Create a plan, make a map, dream big, and go there. Set your intentions high. Be kind, be patient, be giving, and be in love. But also be daring, be disciplined, and be driven. I took a chance when I walked in the arts center and asked to show my art there. I was so delighted that my daring resulted in my first art show in Anderson, SC.
What an amazing opportunity it has been to show at the Anderson Arts Center! Many of the works there will be returning to my studio next week. A few of the largest pieces have been purchased and will be hanging around Anderson.
There are no maps to follow as I go; I am drawing my own. On my map, there is not an “x-marks-the-spot” - no ultimate destination. There is only a series of amazing discoveries and treasures to find as I journey. Thank you for following along on my journey!
I am a greyscale version of myself when I cannot create. I am called to create because when I do not, I feel less whole.
I can create images to describe the dreams of my friends, family, and myself. I create bright images to lift the darkness of grief. Sometimes I create images because I can't find words that would detail the darkest places in my mind.
I create to see the joy in my community; I create because it delights me. Creating is my expression of hope: I want to make images and ideas that will outlive me. I want to take a tiny piece of my soul - a prayer whispered without words - and I want to send it out into the world to speak for me.
This morning, I stepped out of my studio on a mission: I needed good photos of my art in a craft show or market setting. I needed to show potential venues how my pieces might look if they invited me to show or sell in their space. I hoped to shoot some beautiful photos of my pieces telling a more cohesive story.
Last week I reached out and reserved the fellowship hall at my church for a photography session. I rented a white table cloth, and got all my prints together as well as a few display pieces that I had made for past events. My husband helped me load several boxes into the car. I'm just getting started, but I want to look like I've done this before!
What I brought:
- Camera and tripod
- easels and display pieces
- art and signage
- iron and ironing board
- 6 foot table cloth that I rented
What I used at the church:
- their beautiful space
- one 6 foot table
- natural and overhead lighting
My takeaway: the space was beautiful and provided me with everything I needed to create sharp photos of my art in a potential market setting. Now, armed with great photos of my work, I'm ready to start applying for some shows! I hope to see some of you in the Anderson and Greenville area as I start planning to attend some markets for the holiday shopping season.
What an amazing opening last week! So many people came out and I loved meeting everyone. I am so grateful to the talented staff at the Arts Center for making the night wonderful. If you couldn’t make it, the art will be on display at the Arts Center through August 30th.
The Arts Center is located at 110 Federal Street, Anderson, SC 29625 and is open Tuesday – Friday 9:30am – 5:30pm.
Russell Jewell: https://www.russelljewell.com
I took the opportunity to attend a workshop from Russell Jewell at the Anderson Arts Center this weekend. It was a two-day workshop attended by nine other experienced watercolorists. We learned about Russell’s techniques for creating works "en plein air" (in the field) and focused on beginning each work with a small pencil thumbnail where we explored light and dark.
Russell teaches art at Easley High School in Easley, SC and has won plein air competitions, judged art shows, been published in Watercolor Splash, and received many purchase awards for his work. I really admired his well-structured lessons and his well-prepared videos and slideshows that broke down the process of creating a work into an easily manageable, step-by-step method. After a thumbnail sketch in pencil, Russell paints using a series of washes that gradually tease the shadows from the composition and preserve the light.
I was intrigued by his artist’s statement, which is simple but profound: “Consider a black square, truth is, the black square is simply an image of everything in the world in the dark... therefore, regardless of subject all that really matters is light. My goal is to paint light, pure and simple. “
He uses washes of paint to unite a piece, give atmosphere, and direct a viewer’s eye around the work. He layers wash over wash - a process that I have not used in years. We worked though two step-by-step demonstrations using Russell’s compositions and then created one work of our own.
I wrote down a few new art supplies to find, and learned some insights about putting works in art competitions. The workshop challenged me and helped me bring new ideas into the studio. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to work alongside Russell Jewell and the other talented artists at the Anderson Arts Center this weekend.
My watercolor paper has a smell. It might be the sizing, but the unique smell and feel of the paper is like no other art material I can find. When I stretch the highest quality paper I can find, the smell of the paper assures me that I am selling my clients the some of the highest quality paper made in the world. The paper is so thick and heavy I have to break it rather than tear it. The paper will make my pigments glow and respond to washes of pure color just like pure joy.
The tactile feel of my materials is one of the reasons I love being a visual artist. Creating art with my hands is a joyful tactile experience that I hope shows through the marks left on my paper. I paint most of my pieces on Arches paper. More about my papers here.