Meet Hannah Marshall, a Colorado rock-climber and artist. She has a vivacity and passion for life that is absolutely contagious. She studied art in college and graduated with a degree in Geology, which is plainly evident in the detail and honesty of her artwork. She has worked with Outward Bound, and is a climbing guide based out of Ridgway, CO at the mouth of the San Juan Mountains. She paints from high places all over the country as she travels, explores, and creates:
"Although drawing and painting have always been part of my life, I turn to them most during times of challenge or uncertainty. In this spirit, my most recent awakening in creativity began when I graduated from college in May of 2016. I found myself on a road trip with no job, no plan, and a lot to process. I began to make sense of my ramblings throughout the southwest and beyond by sketching everywhere I went. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with the way visual art provokes a visceral response that is more difficult to access through other outlets. As I explore wild spaces, art provides a means for me to share those experiences for which I lack words.
It’s important for me to work on location because when I sit down to create something, I take in every aspect of that moment- sight, sound, scent, and internal feeling. All of these elements give my paintings life, allowing me to tangibly reflect on the process of becoming that is fundamental to adventure. Through my art I attempt to capture these moments in a way that depicts both their raw beauty and my personal journeys within each setting. Any adventure, after all, is only as good as the perspective we bring home."
Photo by Rob Dillon
My Adventure Kit:
"When I’m heading out to work on a painting, I prepare to be gone for the better part of a day. I treat these days as opportunities to quietly explore my surroundings, and I hate being held back by lack of preparedness. I keep all of my supplies in an REI flashpack. It fits everything I need, but it’s small and light enough that I can still run and climb while wearing it. On longer trips, it works well as an “art bag” inside a larger pack. In my backpack I keep headphones, a bottle of water with some lime juice, a headlamp, extra warm layer, and usually some fruit snacks or other tasty treat. As for art supplies, I tend to travel with the bare minimum and do more detailed work at home. I always carry paints, a small brush and paper towel, a pencil with a good eraser, and at least one or two drawing pens. If i’ve thought of it I have two journals, one for writing and one for painting, but more often than not I bring only the watercolor paper."
For those just starting to venture into watercolor or wilderness:
"The best advice I can give to someone, regardless of experience, is not to fear failure or change. If something is scary, it’s probably worth doing. I hear so often of people never completing or sharing a painting because they’re concerned it isn’t good enough- and that’s entirely not the point of creating art. I recently started two personal projects to address this because I struggle with it a lot, too. One of the projects is to draw or paint for at least twenty minutes every day, and the other is to climb things I know I will fall off. More often than not, twenty minutes turns into multiple hours, and the practice of falling makes me more willing to try rock climbs that have uncertain (read: potentially rewarding) outcomes."
Why I Paint:
"This sums it up for me...
'The mountains have no "meaning," they are meaning; the mountains are. The sun is round. I ring with life, and the mountains ring, and when I can hear it, there is a ringing that we share. I understand all this, not in my mind but in my heart, knowing how meaningless it is to try to capture what cannot be expressed, knowing that mere words will remain when I read it all again, another day.'
-Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard
...and so we artists paint."
You can catch up with Hannah on her Instagram account here: @hannahbnans