For the 144th week of "7 QUESTION SUNDAY" we shine the spotlight on another influential individual from the PNW. Hahnah Gibson is an artist drawing inspiration from life in Tacoma.
4EVRGRN: Hey, AW! Tell us a little about yourselves.
HG: Hello! My name is Hahnah Gibson. I’m a lifelong Tacoma local, stay at home mom of four, houseplant hoarder, and an ink and watercolor artist. I was incredibly lucky to be a member of the first graduating class of the Tacoma School of Arts where my love for visual art was fostered. I went mostly for music but was exposed to so many visual arts lessons and opportunities that had large impacts on my personal interests. Over the years that followed I tried many different mediums to see what spoke to me. (I have many more that I would still love to try!) Watercolors have become one of my favorite hobbies when I find the time between chasing 4 kids under 10 and managing our own personal menagerie. I really found my spark about 18 months ago when I started to paint home portraits for myself and then others. I love making work that people connect to on a personal level. Those portraits expanded to my Grit City, Tacoma series. I love capturing the beauty and nostalgia of my home and seeing other people have the same connection to those images. I may continue painting Tacoma forever, as my list wonderful places grows longer all the time! For now, I am just honored people have found joy in something I have created.
- What makes art culture in the PNW so great?
HG: Artists here are a wonderful community! There are so many shops and markets locally to help boost independent artists and makers, and art in public spaces. I benefited greatly from the local arts and music community when I was lucky enough to be in the first class of the Tacoma School of Arts. A school like that even being able to exist in a community speaks volumes to the local support and appreciation for artists and musicians.
- Favorite local product?
HG: There are so many great things being made right here that I love, but I think I have had the same favorite since childhood. Brown & Haley Almond Roca is a delicious local classic. It’s one of my favorite candies of all time and I love so much that it’s made right here at home!
- How does the PNW inspire you?
HG: I love nature and we are surrounded but such beauty year-round. Even in the heart of cities there are gorgeous Mountain View’s, endless evergreens, and fresh air. Since I have been old enough to drive, one of my favorite things to do on a bad day is pick up to-go food from a local favorite and park at the Ruston way waterfront. Taking in the pure beauty of what surrounds me makes me feel better and ready for anything.
- Favorite family friendly activity in the PNW?
HG: We have so many impressive and well cared for parks to enjoy. My family and I love to frequent Point Defiance, the Tacoma nature center at Snake Lake, and Wright Park.
- What is your favorite subject to paint?
HG: My favorite things to paint are subjects that evoke nostalgia and feelings of home. I started doing home portraits to remember places that remained special to me, even if they weren’t ours anymore. I love doing them for other people and getting to hear about their memories and what special details made it home. This led me to doing portraits of building and places within Tacoma. It’s home for me, and I love seeing people connect to the same images and places that I feel a connection too. I love getting to make beautiful representations of our shared home and community!
- Must visit place in Washington for visitors?
HG: If I were to play tourist, my stops would be Mount Rainier, Snoqualmie Falls, Pike place market, the Space needle, at least one of the zoos, aquarium and museums, and some of the local parks and lakes. There is so much nature and culture worth a visit. I recommend staying at least a month!
- Favorite place to explore in the PNW?
HG: The mountains! In my humble opinion, Mount Rainer and the surrounding foothills and forests are among the most beautiful sights in the country. My oldest son is an avid Bigfoot hunter, and we love to explore all the places he might be hiding.
Shop Hahnah’s prints at https://etsy.me/343CZHn and follow her on IG @hahnah.rae.ink.and.watercolors