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About

Artist Biography

Susan E. Hanna, lives and works in New Hampshire, USA, creating outdoor scenes in oils, often on copper or aluminum panels.

Her work explores encounters with light, capturing the joy she feels when seeing light glowing through the leaves, across the sky, or skittering along wave tops and eddies. Patrons have described her art as “serene.”

Susan is a self-taught artist who has practiced in oils for over fifty years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts with majors in unrelated fields. After working for many years and raising a family, she earned her Juris Doctor and practiced law for several years.

During these times, Susan continued to paint. She credits decades of actively observing her surroundings with her ability to recreate what she sees through a lens of appreciation. She often states that there is beauty everywhere if one simply looks.  

Susan has exhibited in widely in New Hampshire with additional shows and representation in Maine and Massachusetts. Her paintings hang in homes and businesses throughout the United States.

Discover more at SEHstudios.com and on Instagram @SusanHannaArtist.

Artist Statement

When I discovered copper and aluminum panels for painting, the smooth, glowing surface inspired me. I’m interested in conveying the qualities of light through painted surfaces.

I typically paint on pieces of metal no larger than 12 by 6 inches. When painting on metal, the paint dries fast and holds every brush stroke. This requires that I paint quickly and confidently. I leave glints of the metal showing through areas of thinly applied paint. Metallic luminosity glows through. It is a delicate balance to avoid over-painting, which covers the metal and obscures the sheen. To achieve the desired effects, my technique requires that I schedule a block of time to complete works on metal in one session. Outdoors, the changing light often demands that the paintings be completed in no more than 2 to 3 hours. I add mediums for flow, because paint alone drags along the metal surface; and I use soft brushes to enhance that flow. Once thoroughly dry, I varnish the metals, preventing discoloration and enhancing my brushwork.

In the beginning stages of my work, I taught myself to paint landscapes and seascapes on rough canvas using oil pigments without any mediums to thin or control the paint. This challenged me to develop my brushwork skills. To create larger works over many sessions, I still use linen or canvas. Smooth linen preserves my brushwork; but I still enjoy a rough canvas because I can make the paint catch along the tops of the threads. I often use this technique to create sparkling water.

I see beauty in mundane scenes. Using metal substrates taught me to paint with authority, conveying detail with loose brushwork. In this way, the scenes feel fresher to me. The metals invite viewers to hold and tilt them to enjoy the glow and glints. In landscapes, ocean scenes, or holiday lights sparkling along a city street, I want viewers to see the serenity and beauty I experience when I paint.

Get insights into my creative process by joining my Private List here.

Memberships: 

Art Guild of the Kennebunks, Maine

New Hampshire Plein Air Artists