Erica Moody in Waldoboro, Maine
The natural and mysterious landscapes of Hannah Wade's paintings are enveloping. Her most recent work - large and unabashed - makes itself known on five-foot tall canvases painted in lush green tones. No doubt, Hannah has been influenced and inspired by the colors and textures of her new home.
As a globetrotter and former urbanite, Hannah is familiar with the cramped confines of city living. Having lived in San Francisco, New York, London and Puerto Rico before returning to her home state, Hannah was always forced to keep it small. In her prior life, finding adequate studio space tended to be an uphill battle. She often would have to share cramped, unheated spaces with other artists. Yet, it was too small for the work that was in her heart to create.
Hannah grew up on a farm in a small rural area town in midcoast Maine. She didn't have a lot of access to other artists or an artistic community, so when she graduated high school, the first thing she wanted to do was leave. But circuitously, her life and inspiration led her back to her home state. When her husband found an old hay farm and farmhouse to purchase in Woolwich, Hannah leapt at the opportunity to start a new chapter where she would have more time and space to create the work she longed for.
"I think if I had moved back earlier, the relative isolation would have been difficult. Now that I am in a different place in my life, I welcome solitude, and it helps me work."
Hannah and her husband were concerned that they would have a hard time making friends and finding an art community in their area. However, since moving, Hannah has found even more of a close-knit artistic community than she had before. Another fear that held her back from moving earlier was wondering if she could keep her art career progressing in a small town - hours away from any major city center. Instead, she's actually found genuine connection and organic networking opportunities to be that much more fruitful as result of living in a smaller community.
In Maine, Hannah has been able to relax into her work, creating less from a place of stress and relentless productivity, but more from her intuition. While Hannah has been painting landscapes for awhile, the astounding effects of living in a place with four distinct seasons and a spectacular natural environment has inspired her to push her expression even further and paint from a place of peace and belonging.
For readers based in Maine, Hannah's work will be on display at Dowling Walsh Gallery in Rockland, Maine from June 3rd-25th, 2022.
Q & A
What inspired you to move to the rurally?
What made you decide to settle in this particular area?
What do you love about this area where you settled and what (if anything) is challenging about living in Maine?
Initially what was the hardest part about making the move?
What surprised you most about country living? What was the expectation versus the reality?
Do you miss anything about your previous life in the city?
When did you start your metalsmith journey and how long would you say it took you to find your own unique voice in the medium?
What is your creative process - how do you get ideas from ideation to completion?
What do you appreciate the most about the life you are building here?
Do you have any suggestions for creatives and makers who want to move out the city but are worried about building a sustainable livelihood, losing opportunities and building a rural creative community?
You have leverage social media to broaden your reach and build a customer base. What advice would you give to other rural makers on ways to sell your wares outside your immediate community?
Where do you draw your inspiration and passion from for your work?
Have you noticed a change in yourself mentally/physically/spiritually since moving away from the city?
Walk us through a typical day in your country existence? How does it compare to the day in your previous city life?
Do you have a specific space or place that restores you and/or helps you feel inspired?
What are some common misperceptions about life in the country? What do you want people to know/understand about life in small communities?
What are your future plans/goals for the coming year?