Artists & Galleries

Dan’s Cover Artist Jennifer Hannaford Leaves Forensic Science to Paint Full Time

The painter discusses her August 31, 2018 cover “BAM!!!”

As summer winds down and we look toward another gorgeous East End autumn, what better way to celebrate the change in seasons than with this colorful paean to transformation? Water to earth, dark to light, what’s it all about?

Our August 31 Dan’s Papers cover artist Jennifer Hannaford says, “Fall has often represented transition in my life, and this year is no exception. In October I’m leaving my profession, forensic science, after 25 years, to pursue my painting career full time. This is one of the most exciting decisions I have ever made, and I’m eager to dive in!”

Jennifer Hannaford headshot
Jennifer Hannaford

What was the inspiration for this week’s cover art, “BAM!!!”?
Most of my pieces capture a moment of light, play, and the water experience. Though playful, this piece is also intended to be a tribute to female strength.

What was your most memorable experience this past summer?
I create art using my own fingerprints and ink. In June, I was commissioned to do a live, interactive art installation in Chicago over the course of three days. This was at a conference of over 50,000 attendees. My niece and nephew assisted me on this project. On our downtime, we enjoyed the food, live music and wonderful people.

How do you spend time here on the East End?
I always end up in an art gallery. Some of my favorites are in Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton.

What do you think the significance of painting is for contemporary society?
I believe artists are naturally engaged in a conversation with other artists and society about a variety of issues. After working in law enforcement for so long, I needed to bring light and hope into my own space. This brought me back to the place I felt most at home, in the water. My hope is to capture the joy of summer from a fresh perspective for my viewers.

Do you like to swim?
I have to live near the ocean, but my favorite place to swim is Lake Tahoe. That water is so clear, a boulder 30 feet down appears to be just below your feet. And then there’s the color—the turquoise and deep blues are amazing.

What’s the most unusual place your work has appeared?
I have three pieces in a permanent installation at the Ritz-Carlton, South Lake Tahoe. Though I have lived on the East Coast for nearly 20 years, I grew up swimming and camping around the shores of Lake Tahoe. So, it was a thrill to be asked to do this project.

If you could sit down to coffee with any artist from history, who would it be and what would you talk about?
Georges Seurat said, “Some say they see poetry in my paintings; I see only science.” For me, painting is purely expressive. But, how does one heighten that experience visually with color? Through examination, experimentation, failures and successes. Also, learning from the masters.

Seurat committed himself to the study of colors and color theory to create more luminous paintings. He worked with unmixed color (dots), because he felt the additive nature of the component colors would be more optically bright.

Where can our readers see more of your work?
My work can be viewed online at jenniferhannaford.com, on Facebook at Jennifer Hannaford Artist and on Instagram @JenniferHannaford. I paint from my studios in Port Jefferson on Long Island and in the East Village. I welcome visitors by appointment. I’m represented by Adelman Fine Art in San Diego.

August 31, 2018 Dan's Papers cover art by Jennifer Hannaford
August 31, 2018 Dan’s Papers cover art by Jennifer Hannaford
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