Biography

Born November 23, 1948 in Jersey City, NJ. I grew up in Union City, Attended Pratt Institute and graduated cum laude in 1970 with a degree in Art education and a minor in visual communication. Taught art from 1970 till 2001 in the NJ public school system in grades 7 thru 12. I loved turning kids on to the joys of artistic expression. As is the case with most teachers, I needed to supplement my income in order to support my growing family. In 1973 I created a part time graphics business called Sunshine Graphics in order to help make ends meet. My minor in visual communications allowed me to grow this one man show into a successful venture. Logo design, murals and graphic displays for large and diverse businesses allowed me the opportunity to supplement my teachers salary as well as stretching my creative vision.

 

I retired from teaching in 2001 and devoted myself full time to my graphics business. To stay competitive it was necessary to transition from hand painting art for my clients to utilizing the emerging digital technologies. I needed to invest in very high definition giclee’ printers for commercial output of color sensitive graphic displays. As time progressed and I faced the realization that I was about to turn 60, I began to long for the joy of unbound creative expression that I savored at Pratt. In 2010 I began to reduce my attention to the commercial side of my graphics business and invest more time in pure artistic pursuits. In 2015 I finally closed up shop at Sunshine Graphics and began a full time effort to pursue  my creative vision. It was time to follow my bliss!

 

 Having become very familiar with digital painting and illustration software, it made sense to me that a perfect way of moving into the fine art world would be in the realm of digital painting. I began using sophisticated painting software which enabled me to paint directly on my computer monitor with a stylus. Digital brushes freed me to explore color, texture, forms and shapes with a freedom that truly spoke to me. Once my paintings were complete I was able to output my paintings on canvas and archival quality fine art paper with unmatched color, definition and control.

 

Painting digitally allowed me tremendous freedom of expression. After a number of years, however, I began to miss the tactile feel and response that can only be experienced with actual paint and brushes. Thus began the next phase of my artistic exploration. Painting on canvas with alkyd paints brought back memories of my early days of using traditional media. I was now free to explore my artistic visions in a way that felt truly familiar and extremely comfortable.

 

During the Sunshine Graphics years I occasionally used screen printing for multiples of my commercial graphic designs. The images of course were determined by the specific needs of my clients. It occurred to me during the execution of one of my paintings that screen printing technology was another viable form of artistic expression. I still owned the equipment needed to service my commercial clients but I was no longer bound however by the demands of their specific needs. Advancements in the technology, ink and materials afforded me an opportunity to revisit screen printing as a fine art. The name given to this form of fine art printing is serigraphy. The next chapter of my exploration seemed clear. Serigraphy became and remains my primary artistic focus at this time.

 

I am excited by the possibilities inherent in this medium. New advances in materials for screen making have afforded me the ability to print using acrylics rather than the more toxic inks that are solvent based. Yes, it is now possible to screen print and still remain respectful of the environment. I feel blessed to be able to spend my remaining years in the pursuit of my evolving artistic vision and bliss. 

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© A.G. Hansen