Annette Hassell - "New Orleans 2020"
Artist: Annette Hassell
Title: New Orleans 2020
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas,
Dimensions: 14" x 11"
Bio: I grew up in the wonderfully spooky city of New Orleans. While other kids were running about in the fresh air, I remained huddled inside - avidly reading any fantasies or fairy tales that I could find, and then trying to illustrate what I had just read. I fell in love with the work of the classic illustrators of children's literature. Rackham, Detmold, Dulac, Nielsen, and Tenniel put faces to the characters that I loved in all the old stories.
I continued to practice drawing, though my efforts back then consisted mainly of ballpoint pen renderings of mermaids, fairies, and Tolkein characters. Finally, I went to college and got some lessons at the University of New Orleans. I learned to paint there, and in 1986 I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree .
Immediately after graduation, I began working as a Mardi Gras float painter and designer. While I worked on my own paintings here and there, I didn't really decide on what it was that I wanted to paint until I moved to Los Angeles in 1996, and I started painting rather unconventional still lifes. Lately, I've become much more interested in painting animals and humans…especially magical ones, but I do still dearly love a still life-or what passes for one in my world.
I reside in Los Angeles now and I have transitioned from freelancing as a scenic artist for theater, television and film to working every minute that I can manage on my personal artwork, telling those stories, and enjoying the freedom to paint whatever I want.
Annette Hassell's paintings come from her love of wonderful stories and classic illustrations. Fairy tales, folk tales, and mythology, with mystical creatures, talking animals and enchanted objects, are what she refers to for inspiration. She wants her paintings to tell stories. Sometimes, the stories are very personal. More commonly though,her paintings are whimsical portraits of charming, anthropomorphic critters or of animals interacting in magical environments, leaving the stories subject to the interpretation of the viewer. Annette paints in acrylic, usually on linen, using techniques involving washes and glazes that she perfected from years of working as a scenic artist in the theater/television industry. She's retired from all that now, and very happy indeed to be spending her time creating her magical world.