It is our absolute pleasure to introduce you to one of our most prolific guest artists, Hannah Jensen. We'll let the Q & A below bring out some of her bubbly personality ~ just sit back, relax and get to know a side of Hannah Jensen you may not usually get to see.
As a quick introduction: Hannah is a talented New Zealand artist who has developed her unique process and style to dramatic effect. Her signature work involves layering 40 - 60 layers of paint upon wood before using printmaking techniques to carve her image - in negative relief - back through the depths of colour. The result is striking. Hannah is an avid yogi and adventurer - a welcome face in any room. Her work has made its way all over the World but she has found home in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Tell us a bit about yourself (including something most people don’t know... )
I'm Hannah, full of beans and with many crazy laughs. I'm that down to earth, animal loving, artist vegan gal. Crickey that sounds scary, but at the end of the day, I think farts are hilarious and I will beat you in a burping contest any day. Oh and I absolutely love nature and art. Being outside fuels me for what I do when I'm inside, layering boards with litres of paint and carving intricate designs into them. What began as a happy accident in 2003 has now become a total passion.
Tell us a bit about your unique practice:
It's been a roller coaster of creativity over the last 16 years since I created this 'carving into paint' technique. I am grateful that it has been so well received and people buy the work so I can continue to do it. Layering boards with up to 70 layers and then carving back into it, revealing different colours at different depths is very similar to what some of us might remember from school as lino cutting. I use the same tools we did back then, speedball linoleum cutters which I assert different pressures to get to different colours. Topographical and textural in its appearance; nature is my inspiration!
How did you get involved in The Paper Rain Project?
They had a pop-up store in Allpress Gallery several years ago and I just loved the feel of being in there. I got chatting and ended up buying a beautiful LOYAL wallet which I still use today. I then returned to the following pop-ups and continued to chat (as I do). I also have a huge selection of pot plants and happily lent them to fill their store while they were in town.
How many boards have you painted to date (inc WIPS?)
Crickey, since June 2018 when I did my first two boards, I have now had 25 come through the studio (Januaury 2019), with orders coming in regularly, I feel 2019 will be a very skateboard orientated year. (that includes being overseas for 2 months)
What's the typical number of layers used on our art boards?
I use a minimum of 40 layers and go up to 60 or just over.
Photo credit: Federico Corradi
Favourite Paper Rain board type and why?
I adore the salvaged recycled rimu, but now I have my hands on the blackwood, I'd say it's nearly taken the lead. All you have to do is feel them and you'll understand why.
Favourite board artwork?
Of others - I actually love all of the other artists, I tried to pick, but no they are all insanely talented, The Paper Rain Project really know how to select epic artists to work with, that is what makes their products so special, the relationship behind the scenes is just as important.
Favourite Resene colour combo?
Hot Toddy, a deep mustard colour is a favourite of mine and I can never go past Alabaster as 'my white' I love carving into, it shines beautifully when the light hits it! I am also layering a kea wing board at the moment with Rock Spray being the flash of deep orange on the underwing.
Favourite daily ritual?
I'd say my morning adventure really sets me up well, a walk up the back into the Port Hills or a bike to the ocean to meditate and swim, but actually it's my after shower ritual of oiling myself from head to toe with a touch of lemongrass that really keeps me feeling fresh and nourished for the day ahead. :)
Something you’d have liked to be able to tell your twenty-year-old self:
Don't bloody smoke!!! I started smoking when I was 11 years old, terrible but true…and I thought I would be over it by my 20's but somehow it stuck in there for a bit longer. I wasn't a heavy smoker, it was more when I was by myself and/or needed a break. I have to forgive and let go, but I still can't believe I did it.
If you could see a positive environmental impact in NZ, what would it be?
Less plastic and no chucking things out of cars! It still absolutely blows me away at how much rubbish is actually on the side of the roads when you're driving through NZ, it may not be easy to see, but if you stop, it is there. Keep the rubbish in your car until you find a bin, it's that simple.
What do you want to see a little more of in the World?
Kindness and smiles - so simple, so contagious and so needed.
What does it mean to you to be a Paper Rain guest artist?
I am extremely grateful to carve on beautifully crafted skateboards. This collaboration is 2 crafts coming together to create a phenomenal result and one I am super proud of.
What are you listening to while you work?
I have been listening to a couple of audio books which have been challenging my mindset recently (in a good way). Both by Michael A Singer, The Untethered Soul and The Surrender Experiment. Also some great podcasts by Tony Robbins and Oprah Winfrey which is how I hear about different books to listen to.
Photo credit: Jo Currie
Want to see more from the lovely Hannah?
To see more of Hannah's boards - lookee here.
Check out her website here or find her on Instagram @hannahjensenart
Having carved 25 of our boards in just 4 months - most of Hannah's work is commissioned by a beautiful array of customers before they even reach us. If you're interested in having one of these stunning works created for yourself, please head on over to our commission page.
Images above as credited, all others copyright of Hannah Jensen herself.