Indulge in the charm of the coast with Hannah Cole's exquisite artwork, crafted to evoke a sense of tranquillity and warmth that will enchant any space. With over a decade as an artist in the Whistlefish family, Hannah is a true master at capturing the essence of the sea in her creations, and her idyllic loft-converted studio in the heart of Brighton is the perfect setting to inspire her. Take a journey with us through the delightful world of Hannah Cole as we delve into her fascinating creative process and uncover her recent captivating pieces, each one lovingly crafted with a unique sense of humour. Discover the captivating new 'Slipway' artwork and the interesting story behind it, and learn more about the tool that Hannah can't live without. Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Hannah Cole.
Experience the Coastal Charm of Hannah Cole's Art and Feel at Home
Are you still based in Brighton?
Yes, I’m still based in Brighton. I live at the top of one of the steepest hills in the city and 5 mins from the sea. My studio is currently in the loft. Our little house is like a tardis - I walk through my 14 yr old son's room to get to my studio! It’s a cosy space with a lovely amount of daylight (and many noisy seagulls on the roof!) We live a 5 min walk from the sea and both my children are water babies and love leaping off the Groyne by the pier.
Pictured Hannah Cole in her bright loft studio
Can you tell us 3 interesting facts about yourself?
1. I failed my art GCSEs the first time around!
2. I was also told by my tutors not to apply for the illustration degree course here in Brighton as I probably wouldn’t get in! (Ha!)
3. I love camping and dream of one day owning a camper van!
(bonus extra fact!)
4. During lockdown, we built a climbing wall up the back of our house, and a fireman’s pole coming out of my daughter's bedroom! We keep meaning to take it down but it’s still there, and I don’t think my daughter will ever want it taken down!
Pictured Hannah's bright loft studio
Can you talk us through your method of creating a piece of artwork?I take loads of photos whenever I’m out and about and often use these as a reference. I block in the base colour using big brushes first and sketch out the rough composition on top of this in chalk. I may well end up painting over these initial marks, but I like to get rid of the white canvas first. I then work over this first layer using mainly acrylics, building up the layers and scratching back details. I often work on several canvasses at once. Some will sit in the corner for months unfinished until I decide what to do with them.
What is an art tool you use that you cannot live without?
Possibly my scalpel! I use it a lot for scraping back the paint and working on the details. I also love the Liquitex gloss varnish, it really brings out the colours in a painting.
What do you think about when you're creating art? What influences the outcome of your artwork?
I love listening to podcasts while I work and being transported to another world whilst getting lost in a painting. I usually start the day with a walk /run by the sea or in my local park, and will often see something or someone when I’m out and about that will influence a painting - whether it’s sea swimmers down on the seafront, or dog walkers in my local park.
Your pieces are so neutral and calming they’re the perfect piece of artwork to fit into almost any interior. They can be made up of various blues, then another with pinks, and a different piece with more grey tones. They are all gorgeous, but what's your absolute favourite colour palette to use?
It would have to be the blues I think. I do have a vast array of different blues, which come more naturally to me than the warmer tones.
Although, I’m enjoying mixing up lots of lovely different greens at the moment, and love the green/pink combo like in 'Slipway' title artwork (pictured below).
We love this new 'Slipway' piece of artwork the colours are lovely, is there a nice story that goes with this piece of artwork you can share with us?
This was one of those paintings that were sitting on the shelf looking at me for several weeks. I wasn’t happy with it but wasn’t sure what it needed. Below is a picture of how it looked for quite a while.
I’m much happier with it now! It definitely needed cheering up! Sometimes I have a clear vision of how I want the painting to look when I start, but this one was more spontaneous. It’s very loosely based on a photo I’d taken of the slipway in Padstow years ago!
What piece of your portfolio are you most proud of?
I don’t think there is one particular piece I’m most proud of. I guess I do feel proud that I’ve been able to sell my paintings for the last 20 or so years and they still seem to be popular!
Thank you team Whistlefish!
And last but not least! Did you ever get a dog?
We still have a cat, and still sadly do not yet own a dog! We regularly borrow our friend's dogs though.