I'm thrilled to introduce this week's guest, Hadley Hutton! I'm sure you are no stranger Hadley's work. Her gift for capturing nature in a whimsical, dreamy, and elegant style is unsurpassed in my book. Her work is pure eye candy. And I'm just elated to learn more about her. Join me!
How long have you been working as an illustrator?
I am a full time artist and illustrator for the past three years. I really couldn't imagine any other calling. I certainly can't type to save my life. My art career is really in its infancy. Right out of college, I worked in a quirky gallery in San Francisco, which is torture for an artist who wants to make art, not sell it. Then I had two children and during their early years I made the decision to devote my energy to raising them. During their pre-elementary years I did manage to create some art - because I really can't live without it. But only in the past few years since my son and daughter have both been in school full-time have I rekindled my career in earnest. I am happily now a full time artist and illustrator. And just recently I became the primary wage earner for the family, a complete reversal of my role as the the stay at home mom.
How did you learn to paint? Did you have formal training?
From a very young age I wanted to be an artist. I took numerous art classes. I have fond memories of the community center art classes where I was the only child in a room full of senior citizens. I went on to study art at the San Francisco Art Institute. I majored in interdisciplinary art-which means I was able to tailor my art studies to include a multitude of interests. I studied painting, printmaking, ceramics, and photography. Most of my emphasis was in printmaking and painting- the two disciplines I primarily use today.
When you are working, what surrounds you? What’s your studio like?
In my house I have a small room that is flooded with light where I make my prints. My husband built two large work tables which are always covered in projects, and the walls are lined with shelves of art materials and paintings. My secondary workspace is in my newly refinished basement room which houses my encaustic painting station, and shipping area. Yes. I am a space hog! I am typically surrounded by paper, paper and more paper. Imagine me in the middle of a room with stacks of paper converging inward until you can hardly see me.
Who inspires you?
Inspiration is such is an interesting topic for an artist because often we are not even cognizant of inspirations as we work. Artists are often sponges absorbing all kinds of influences, be it a feeling, a word, an image and then regurgitating it into a piece of art. So I find it fascinating to try to name and place these influences. One influence that seems to be a constant is traditional Asian art, for as long as I can remember, I have been influenced by Asian motifs. The first book I purchased for my mother at age 8 was a large Asian pattern book, called "The Grammar of Chinese Ornaments" by Owen Jones. I have spent countless hours poring over the gorgeous pages of this book. Somehow the book managed to make it into my library :) My love affair with Asian design is still going strong. I recently took a trip to Japan where I had the opportunity to see incredible woodblock prints by artist such as Hokusai Katsushola and Ando Hiroshigi. As a printmaker, the craftsmanship beauty, and style inherent in Japanese prints has had a profound influence in my work.
I have many favorite contemporary artists who are a source of inspiration. I love to visit their sites, and see their latest masterpieces. Here are a few favs:
Christopher Silas Neal
Gina & Matt
Wow. Thanks for introducing me to these artists. Truly inspiring! Now, back to your work, when it comes down to it, what material or equipment would you be lost without? Watercolor pencils
Do you have a mission statement (personal or business)?
Less is more ( except in the case of art supplies when too much is never enough). (Agreed!)
You feature such lovely florals in your work. What's your favorite flower? What do you love about it?
I adore peonies, especially the delicate milky blush ones. Peonies are like eye candy -they are just so beautiful, layered, and complex with their many petals. Magnolias are a close contender though. I get very nostaglic for my childhood home when I think of Magnolias. Then there's ranunculas, camellias, amaryllis, narcissus.... I'm only allowed one flower! :)
Hadley's not a name I hear often, but it's so nice. Who are you named for?
My aunt was reading Hemingway's biography when my mother was pregnant with me. I am named after Hemingway's first wife Hadley Hemingway.
I'm a sucker for food and I love to cook. Care to share a favorite recipe?
I too am a foody. Boccone Dolche is a favorite for this time of year. Boccone Dolche means sweet mouthful in Italian. Enjoy!
This recipe comes from Papa Hydens, one of Portland Oregon's favorite dessert spots. This recipe uses fresh Oregon strawberries which are amazing. (I sent my husband and son, both new to Portland, off to get a pint of strawberries at a local farmers market. Here they encountered their first Oregon strawberries. My son was covered from ear to ear with berry juice, and instead of a pint, they had a whole flat stowed in seat of the stroller.)
Meringue Layers (2-3)
6 oz melted bittersweet chocolate (feel free to substitute your favorite kind)
3 pints strawberries (or other fresh fruit)
For the meringue layers, you'll need the following:
1 1/2 cups egg whites
2 cups sugar
1. Whip the egg whites on high until they come to a stiff peak
2. Turn down the mixture to medium speed and start adding sugar 1 Tablespoon at a time, every 2 to 3 minutes. This allows the sugar to be absorbed. You'll notice the meringue will become very thick and glossy.
3. You will need to line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw the circles (the size you want your meringue layers to be) on the under side of the parchment.
4. Take a rubber spatula and start spreading the meringue inside the circles.
5. Bake at 225 degrees for 2 and a half hours. Meringue should be cream in color and crispy all the way through. If they're still soft after this time, you can bake them longer. The low temperature will prevent them from browning too quickly.
For the whipped cream, you'll need the following:
4 cups heavy whipping cream
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1. Whip cream to soft peak
2. Add vanilla
3. Whip cream to stiff peak -- then it's ready to use. The cream needs to be stiff in order for it to hold the meringue layers together.
Put together the Boccone Dolce:
1. Put one layer of meringue on your serving plate
2. Drizzle melted chocolate over the layer
3. Spread 1/4 of your whipped cream on top of the layer, and top with berries.
4. Spread 1/4 of the cream on top of the berries.
5. Repeat with next layer
6. Top with 3rd meringue layer. Drizzle with chocolate.
7. Decorate with edible fresh flowers, fruit, mint, etc. Enjoy!
Oh my. That sounds delightful. Delicious. Thank you for sharing!
What do you always have with you? Name five things in your handbag.
Half of the time I carry a handbag, and half the time I shove everything in my pockets. I carry: a rubber band, lip gloss, a snack, pen, paper, and hopefully I remember my phone, though it's probable that the phone is lost, or it went through the washer, or is having a hard-time because it was dropped down the laundry chute. I have high hopes to someday get this phone thing down. Now that is funny. Poor little cellie. :)
We all need a little pampering now and then, right? What's your guilty pleasure?
My perfect summer day begins with sweet Oregon berry picking, lots of good food in the middle, throw a soccer game in there somewhere, and of course some drawing, and it ends with a dip in the river and more good food, maybe that boccone dolche to top it off. This sounds good, I'm off to get this done!
It does sound good! I think I'm off to try a few of those things myself. Thank you so much, Hadley, for letting us have a peek at the amazing woman behind such beautiful work.