by barbara anne greene
Artist Ann Hanson may not have been born in Wyoming, but the state and its residents would gladly claim her as one of their own, given her many contributions since she moved to Casper with her mother at the age of 4 from Bremerton, Wash.
Her sophomore year of high school, she moved to Greybull with her parents. “I remember the first time I drove up Trapper Creek Road,” Hanson recalls. “I vowed that I would live here some day.”
Now she does, along with her husband Steve and granddaughters Eden, 14, Audrey, 11, and Karma 8. Hanson was working at the B-Bar-R before they married.
Hanson said she started painting professionally around 1986. Known for painting family, friends and neighbors, she said it’s because they are the people she is around and loves this lifestyle. “If I lived in a big city, I would probably be painting city scenes and people,” she said.
She has been featured in national western art shows and on the cover of Western Horseman three times. Last year she won the people’s choice award at the quick draw in Cody and won the PleinAir Magazine award in 2014, too.
While western is her genre, she was invited by George Lucas to create a work inspired by the “Star Wars” saga. It was included in a book that featured over 100 artists and was released in 2010. Her work was entitled “On The Hunt” and was purchased personally by George Lucas. “I loved painting my Star Wars piece,” she said. “It took me back to my college years when I did a lot of fantasy art. What a great excuse to revisit a genre I love, but don’t have the time for. I was honored that Mr. Lucus purchased my piece, too.”
Facebook friends with Hanson have seen her work in another media, such as furniture made from branches, twigs and stone. They are for a two-person show she is doing with Julie Oriet at the Brinton Museum in Big Horn. The show is called “On and Off the Wall.” It will feature paintings and furniture. It opens Nov. 28, 2015.
Hanson says everything inspires her. “I think I look at the world a little differently than most. I paint the sunset in my mind, try to memorize the colors of the sagebrush and try to figure out how to depict the transparent colors of the sky.” She has done more than 500 paintings, ”give or take a few.” Her works are available in original oils and limited edition prints.
Her art has taken her many places. “I have been to some pretty cool places,” she said. “I don’t know if I have a favorite. It is fun to travel when I know I get to come home to the Big Horn Basin.”
Known not only for her wonderful work, Hanson is also known for her generosity. “I feel that it is important to give back. I have been given a wonderful talent that brings me great satisfaction,” she said. “How can I NOT show my thanks by giving of myself?”
Most recently she donated an original oil called “Life is Good” to the Big Horn County Library Foundation for the 3:1 state’s matching funds challenge. The painting will be on display on a rotating basis at the Lovell, Greybull and Basin branches. It is for sale through a closed bid auction to end Dec. 15, 2015.
Hanson will be recognized for her talent and her giving Saturday, Oct. 10 from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the library in Basin. Attendees will enjoy light refreshments and a chance to visit with Hanson.