Painter Annette Hassell uses narrative in her artwork. Her fun and whimsical paintings are beautifully rendered, filled with suggestion and mystery. Visit her website for more.
I started drawing really early in life. I was fascinated with Golden Age Fairytale illustrators and Disney background art, and I practiced drawing, hoping to end up as an illustrator or animation artist myself. But I got sidetracked along the way, and ended up painting other people’s designs and visions to make ends meet.
Now it’s my time. After so many years of having my subject matter dictated to me, I’m finally getting to paint whatever I want.
Lately, that’s been mostly rather whimsical animals, but there’s no telling what I’ll get into next. My main focus is to keep pushing myself. I don’t ever want to be stuck in a genre… I feel like that would be creative suicide.
I think it’s interesting, the process that we as artists go through in our minds as we try and determine what it is that we are going to paint.
For me, it usually starts with thinking about something completely unrelated to painting…like fish… I like goldfish… wait…goldfish trapped in a bowl? That seems unkind….how about those fish in “Fantasia?” I loved them…they were magical…I bet you couldn’t keep them in any bowl…and so on.
Sometimes these musings lead to rather dark and musty corners that need to be aired out. Then other times, the musings are much simpler, and result in images of say magical, flying fancy fish, but they always lead somewhere.
The only thing that I insist on in my work is that it needs to have some narrative.
I consider myself to be a wry observer of human nature, and there is definitely a story going on in my head for each painting. I want people to see that, and I hope that they can recognize some of their own stories in my work as well.