GUEST ARTIST - Hannah Starnes

GUEST ARTIST - Hannah Starnes

The past few years have seen Hannah's iconic native New Zealand flora and fauna grace our boards with one-of-a-kind art pieces. Sharing our love of the outdoors and Aotearoa's unique natural world, her collaborations with Paper Rain have continued to evolve and reflect the beauty of the world around us.

We have introduced Hannah before, but as a local and long-standing guest artist with Paper Rain, we decided to bring you some more info on her inspirations and her incredible work in an updated interview.

Tell us a bit about yourself (including something most people don’t know!):

Lover of the bush, the sea, animals, exercise. I’m an introverted extrovert - I need to have my people around me but I highly value my own time to recharge. I’m actually a science nerd- I was originally a cardiac physiologist but packed that in to become a rowing coach...The art kind of evolved around that. I’m heading up to Cambridge then Tokyo over winter to coach the NZ U18 team!

Tell us a bit about your unique practice:

I work with oil paints on recycled wood. Lots of colour, lots of contrast. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, I suppose you’d call it realism - I grid or trace my subjects to get the proportions right. I go by the idea of painting things as you wish to see them rather than as they really are. I’m branching into a bit of street art which has been a long time goal of mine too...A great way for more people to experience art and to spread a thoughtful message.

What is your favourite daily ritual?

Exercise! It gets me out of my head...and out of the house! Also, nothing beats the welcome that I get from my dog Sunny when I come out into the lounge in the morning, lots of licks and belly rubs.

Tell us something you’d have liked to be able to tell your 20-year old self:

Everyone has their own battle! People may look like they’ve got it sorted from the outside but they’re probably struggling with much of the same feelings you are. And look after the special people in your life, helping people and building real relationships are what make it worth living.


What do you want to see a little more of in the world?

Openness and kindness. Stop parading your fake tan and perfect brows around Instagram and share the photo of your kid having a tantrum in the playground instead. It may actually help someone.


What does it mean to you to be a Paper Rain guest artist?

I get to expose my art to a following of people who share the same values as I do- respect and wonder for the earth and all it’s living creatures. We are part of something bigger than ourselves and we use our platforms to create awareness for good.

What are you listening to while you work?

Slow dancing in a burning room by John Mayer has been thrashed a lot recently, also Eric Clapton, Tash Sultana, Mitch James.

Thank you, Hannah! We love your work and we love that you are a part of our Paper Rain Tribe. You can check out Hannah's latest works here: A Bunch of Birds and Pigeons in the Plum Tree.

If you love Hannah's work as much as we do, we can assist you in arranging a commission on one of our boards. Want more info? Drop us a line!