Artist Bonnie Sol Hahn lives and paints in Hilo, Hawaii. Inspired by her tropical surroundings, Hahn paints lush, colorful scenes from nature. Her works reflect the relaxed but vibrant mood of island life.
Going into the interview, I was struck by the way Hahn’s experiences living in Hawaii have influenced her work.
Jason: What drew you to your subject matter?
Bonnie Sol Hahn: I have always lived in beautiful places that are inspiring to live in. I am awe inspired by nature and enjoy trying to achieve the look and feel of what I see and experience in paint on canvas.
J: What do you feel is unique about your work?
BSH: My composition, perspective and color push are all key elements to my work.
J: Describe your style, subject matter, and medium.
BSH: I am a representational landscape painter. I paint what I see around me. I use oil paint on canvas, linen or board.
J: When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
BSH: I have always made art, but I started oil painting when I picked up my dad’s old oil set in my grandparents’ basement when I was 14.
J: Are there other artists in your family?
BSH: I had a great uncle who painted, and my dad was a painter who is now creative in other ways.
J: Are there any artists that inspired you when you were developing your style?
BSH: When I was younger I loved the impressionists, Monet being one of my favorites. I wanted to paint skies like they did. I loved their use of color. Now, I am more fascinated by art that is nothing like mine.
J: When did you sell your first artwork?
BSH: In high school.
J: How much art-related education do you have?
BSH: I went to the School of the Museum of Fine Art and have a BFA.
J: Are you a full-time artist?
J: How do you promote and expose your work to potential buyers?
BSH: I show in 8 different galleries. Seven on the Big Island of Hawaii and one in Maui. I also post new work on Facebook, send out regular emails to clients, and have a website.
J: What do you feel have been your strengths in your art business?
BSH: I am organized. From planning what to paint next to organizing my files with my various galleries. I am also personable.
J: What job have you held in the past?
BSH: I have been a Gallery Associate.
J: How much time do you spend in the studio in an average week?
BSH: Typically I am in the gallery at least 5 hours a day (quality time), 6 days a week. Sometimes a lot more.
J: Do you have a daily routine?
BSH: Yes. Although I am trying to change it to include some other things, like exercise.
J: How much work do you produce per month on average?
BSH: 6 pieces…depending on size of course…sometimes more, sometimes less.
J: What are your interests outside of your art?
BSH: I love swimming and snorkeling.
J: Thank you, Bonnie. Where can we find more of your work?
BSH: My website is under construction right now, so in the meantime you can visit my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ArtbyBonnieSol.
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