A Life in Art & Nature
For Hannah Ellingwood, art and nature are intimately entwined.
“My art is inspired by the natural world and experiences that I have in nature. I like to learn about the plant, animal, or landscape that I am creating so that I can share my knowledge along with my illustrations. I love being able to express the awe that I feel when I’m in the woods.”
The Harrisville resident remembers helping five- and six-year-olds catch tadpoles and dragonfly nymphs at the Harris Center pond years ago. Hannah was a middle schooler, accompanying her mother, who was a Harris Center camp counselor. She eventually joined her mother as a counselor when she was in high school.
“It was amazing to watch kids become connected with nature. At the beginning of the week, they might be quiet and shy but by the end everyone would have opened up and become friends. Not only were they more comfortable with each other but they also were more confident. For example, someone who was scared of spiders by the end of the camp would be looking through an ID book to learn more about them, or someone who refused to touch our composting worms was then excited to get their hands dirty.”
Paper Art Precision
Hannah went to high school at ConVal in Peterborough, NH, where she credits her teachers for inspiring her and encouraging her to pursue art. After going to college for a year to study printmaking, Hannah decided to pursue art on her own. Inspired by printmaking styles that she learned in school, she discovered that she could create a similar aesthetic with cut and layered paper.
Hannah’s artwork is all about the details — so much so that she uses a surgical scalpel to hand cut paper. Each sheet of paper is a different color, which she layers together to create a dimensional image. Hannah photographs her paper-cut originals and turns them into dishwasher-safe stickers (for water bottles and cars), notecards, magnets, buttons, and enamel pins. She also sells the originals and hangs them in cafes and galleries.
“The process of paper cutting is meditative. I appreciate every little cut and love watching as the image comes together. I enjoy the process of following my intuition and seeing where the piece takes me — I don’t know what it’s going to look like until the last layer.”
A Special Bobcat for our 50th Anniversary
The Harris Center is delighted with the artful bobcat design that Hannah created for us, which was turned into a 50th Anniversary sticker that is available for purchase at the Harris Center. Making art that is accessible to the greater public is an important value for Hannah.
“I want my art to be affordable. Art and nature should be accessible to everyone.”
Here is a short video of Hannah creating the artwork for the 50th Anniversary bobcat design:
Living in Alignment
Hannah spends most of her time outside or making art; she lives her life in alignment with her ideals and passions. On any given day, Hannah might be found hiking throughout New England with her dog Basil.
“My family and I visited the Harris Center to hike trails and go to other kid-friendly events when I was younger. I remember going to an owl program and feeling inspired by being so close to birds of prey. The Harris Center has always been around and a part of my life.”
May it always be so! You can find out more about Hannah’s art at hannahellingwood.com.
For more information on the Harris Center’s 50th anniversary celebrations, please contact Lisa Murray at (603) 525-3394 or by email.