The Heroine’s Journey of Annette Hassell

What is the best thing that I love about my work? I used to just try and come up with ideas for paintings. Now the ideas flow much more freely and I concentrate instead on raising the bar for myself as far as advancing my technique. Sometimes-not often enough-but sometimes, I’ll finish a painting and be so damned satisfied with the results, that I get a feeling of pride and accomplishment. I confess, this feels pretty good. Of course when one is constantly trying to improve, that feeling of satisfaction is temporary, as one raises the bar up another notch- but this is what I love. When I manage to touch the bar.

Perfect happiness? Hmmm….I’d say that might consist of peace within oneself, a feeling of unconditional love, maybe feeling secure in one’s existence. None of which I have been even remotely close to experiencing. We’re all looking for something, right?

Greatest fear? Deep water. Lord don’t put me in a boat in the middle of the ocean unless you want to see some really ugly crying.

Deplorable trait? Inertia.

Living persons in my profession that I most admire? This is an impossible question for me to answer. There are so many artists that do work. I greatly admire, love, envy, or want. I can think of at least 30 right off the top of my head who are alive and creating, and probably 200 that have passed on into the great beyond. I can’t list one for fear of leaving out another. Social media can be a nightmare, but it is also marvelous in that it allows us to see each other’s beautiful creations. They are constantly inspiring

greatest extravagance? Nothing.

On what occasion would I lie? I’m pretty blunt and tend to tell the truth when I probably shouldn’t. It’s much easier for me to stay silent than to blatantly lie.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Sometimes, I confess to rushing-because of deadlines, or because I’ve just given up on a piece and want to see the end of it. It always shows. I should never, ever do it. I never feel good about it. Quality over deadlines. Always.

When and where was I the happiest? Probably back in New Orleans, when I first started out painting Mardi Gras floats for a living. I was surrounded by fabulous lunatics and insane punk wizards and it was the hardest, most physically exhausting and comedically exhilarating environment one could imagine. I miss having my friends-who were my co-workers too- around me every day. And I do know what it means to miss that city.

If I could, what would I change about myself? Well, aside from some physical stuff that it would be great to be able to wave a magic wand to correct, I’d change my work ethic. I’m too easily distracted and too slow to get going. Lazy maybe? More energy, motivation and ability to concentrate would be helpful. It’s something I’ve had to fight my whole life.

Greatest achievement in work? Haven’t had it yet.

Where would I most like to live? Edinburgh. I visited once, years ago, and it has stuck to me. It won’t let go.

What is my most treasured possession? My TV.

Inspirational location in my city? Well, I don’t consider where I live to be my city, so I will answer Audubon Park, in the Autumn, in the City of New Orleans, which I still consider home. I you catch the park at the right time of year, the chilly dry fronts start blowing in to replace the hot, humid summer weather. It can get misty. The skies are grey. The gigantic ancient oaks start dropping crunchy leaves and squirrels are running around everywhere. Everything smells green and wet and wonderful. Sigh.

Books that have influenced my life and how? This is another one with far too many answers. I’m a voracious reader and have been since childhood. I remember a Kahil Gibran phase during my teenaged years….perhaps that would be a good answer. How? Those books did make me think about possibilities of existence, and opened my eyes early on to the fact that reality is different for different people.

Favorite writers? Currently, Patrick Rothfus and Robin Hobb. But there have been many others, and again I hate to mention these two without mentioning those at least 100 others.

You only die once? Are you sure about that? Define die.

heroes and heroines in real life? I should have a specific name ready answer to this, but I don’t. I think just anyone who is kind to others. The helpers are my heroes

Movie? Again-only one? I guess maybe “Sunset Boulevard”? Maybe “The Wizard of Oz”? There are ( again) so many. I think the whole narrowing stuff down to one is a skill I have yet to master.

Role of art in my life? It’s how I’ve made my living-in one form or another- for a shocking number of years now. It’s what I’m best at doing and it’s what I want to do. Paint. Draw. Illustrate. Thank goodness people give me $$ to do it.

Where can you see me or my work? I’ve usually got something somewhere going on….for info you can go to my website

Passion never retires? What does that mean to me? Well in my case, it’s a good thing that I am passionate about painting, because I don’t think I could retire if I wanted to. Being an artist for so many years is not necessarily the best road to saving up for retirement. I wouldn’t change it, though. No regrets. Just more paintings.

how can you contact me?
I’m on Facebook, Instagram, and here’s my website again:

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