Hadley, thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us today! I loved reading your profile…it shows, among other things, that you have a great sense of humor. It also showed a few other things I could relate to – a mom who “changed paint colors like others change the sheets” and perhaps some perfectionistic tendencies (the bunny incident). How do these things influence you as you create? Are the two (artistry and perfectionism) ever at odds with each other?
I have learned a thing or two since the bunny incident. Most importantly, I have learned to be kind to myself. I do challenge myself to do my best, but I do not berate myself if a piece of art isn't working out. Occasionally I'm disappointed by something I've done. Oh well, I'm not perfect. I just try again, again, or even again. I think this quality— the ability to keep forging ahead helps foster creativity for an artist. Or, to be more precise, the ability to put negative results out of mind keeps the creative process unblocked. If I were to dwell on my gaffes, I'd never get anything done. I like to wallow in my my successes and keep on truckin'.
I’m fascinated with the variety of methods and materials you use in your work. How long might one “typical” piece take you to complete? What are the methods you use most often?
I use ink and watercolor pencil, and gouache to make the monotypes. I then mount the monotypes on wood and layer with pastels and wax. I really don't pay much attention to time when I work. It takes however long it takes, which may be less than an hour or more than a few days. It's difficult for me to give an accurate time estimate for one piece. I never really work on one piece from start to finish. First, I work on the monoprints for several pieces. Then I gesso the boards and mount the art on the boards for several pieces, and finally I wax several pieces. I have a more accurate estimate of how long it takes to make 15 small pieces — 40 hours.
Since I’m a Portland native too, I’m always curious to know what it’s like being an artist in this community. Do you feel camaraderie with other artists? Do you feel Portland is supportive to creative people like yourself? Or has selling on Etsy really been the catalyst for your success?
I am kind of a solitary artist. I tried to get involved with an artist group, but I found I prefer making art to talking about art. Recently, I joined PDX etsy, a community of Portland etsy, and so far it's been a very helpful, resourceful, supportive group. Portland is an artist-friendly community, with an abundance of venues to show work and see great work. Yet, for these same reasons, it's also an extremely competitive market for selling work.Etsy has been a wonderful way for me to reach a new audience. Prior to etsy, I primarily sold originals through my online website and local venues. Now my sales originate in equal measure from etsy, my web site (www.hadleyhutton.com ), other online sites, galleries, and boutiques.
As an interior redesigner who loves all things décor, I’m also curious about your home. Can you give us a little glimpse into how you decorate? What is your house like? Do you ever hang your own paintings as décor, or do you prefer other people’s artwork in your home?
Hadley's dining room
If I were to give my decorating style a name, I would call it relaxed elegance. Relaxed because it's so rarely clean! I don't spend a lote of time decorating. My house will probably look the same in twenty years. My taste stays pretty constant.If you can believe it, my walls are pretty bare. I have collected a few small pieces, not nearly enough to cover my house. I'm quiet picky about what I choose to put in my home. I imagine it will be a long while before my walls are filled. Though I recently made some inroads into adorning my walls. I purchased a book full of lovely Charley Harper prints which I plan to mount on my walls.Friends are always astounded that I don't put my own work around my house. I do put my work up on a shelf in my dining room - it's artwork that's heading out the door. This suits me because I always have something fresh to look at, so I don't tire of one piece.
Hadley's living room
You are clearly a talented artist. I would think you would be able to create full-time and make a living from it…is that the case, or do you also have another “day job”?
Yes, I am a full time artist and illustrator. I really don't know what else I would do. I can't type. (My husband actually typed all of this for me. Thank you, Jack). Way back when, I worked in a gallery—which is torture for an artist who just wants to make art, not sell it. While working at the gallery, I became pregnant with my first child, and then I became a full time mom. Now, I divide my time between my art career and my children.
I know about your Etsy shop and your website, www.hadleyhutton.com. Is there anywhere else that people can view your work?
My work can be purchased online at hadleyhutton.com, hadleyhutton.etsy.com, velocity.com, artstream, indieflix, and petaline. My work can be found at Velocity, Art Stream, Cheeky B, Pistils Nursery, Fawn, Presents of Mind, Bennette Gallery, and I consistently have month-long shows at various venues around the nation. So it's good to check out the news section of my website to see what I'm up to.