Meredith Hanson

May 18, 2022 by Gabrielle Martin

Renowned Nantucket-based watercolor artist Meredith Hanson has moved to Hingham.

You might know Meredith from her custom and quirky prints, or maybe it’s her one-of-a-kind bridal collections – or you might know Hanson’s homeware line, or its long list of creative collaborations with leading products. brands like Serena & Lily and Vineyard Vines.

For the past 11 years, Nantucket has been Meredith’s home and year-round artistic inspiration.

Throughout her work, Meredith sustains her passion for storytelling, with her mediums varying between photography and product design to videography, focusing primarily between one-off hand-painted pieces and a collection of printed products.

From acrylics to watercolors, Meredith does it all – and she may have just moved in next door!

Hingham, this is Meredith.

“I spent my early years in Bronxville, NY, and developed a great passion for art and horses,” the Westchester County native shares, revealing, “I competed when I was young and eventually trained with Andre Dignelli and Kate Stoddard at Heritage Farm in Katonah, NY; I commuted two hours a day, five to six days a week, to ride.

In 2000, Meredith’s family moved to Bedford to be closer to her barn: “My younger brother Chris and I attended Rippowam Cisqua School, a coeducational private K-9 school, “where our talents artistic, academic and athletic were really nurtured.”

“I was very fortunate to work with Barbara Herzberg, a wonderful private art teacher with whom I had the privilege of studying for many years. Barbara and I initially focused on strengthening my drawing skills, and later I started working with pastels and oils,” Meredith fondly recalls.

She goes on to say, “It would be fair to say that I loved every minute I spent painting with Barbara!”

The Hanson family quickly settled into the hustle and bustle of Bedford: while Meredith was taking art and horse riding lessons, her brother took up squash aged just six – a growing interest. childhood that turned into a career for Chris: “He went on to play #1 at Dartmouth College and was the US National Champion in 2017 and 2018 and Pan Am Gold Medalist in 2019!

As for her mother, Meredith describes the Hanson family matriarch as “a serial entrepreneur”, saying: “Throughout our childhood, my brother and I watched her launch several successful businesses, including a global network one-of-a-kind women”. and speculates that’s why she and her brother caught the “entrepreneurship bug.”

Meredith will continue her art education after graduating from high school: she began attending Wheaton College in Norton, MA in 2007, pursuing degrees in Art History and Studio Art. After graduating with a major in Studio Art, Meredith came to a crossroads – and like many college graduates – she “wasn’t exactly sure what career path I was going to take or even ‘place where I was going to live’.

In her early twenties, Meredith tried working for an interior designer in New York for a few months before “realizing that I would much rather be in charge of my own destiny.” So, “After spending many happy summers visiting Nantucket, I decided to pack my bags and move to the island.”

“I focused primarily on oil painting during my college and post-college years in Nantucket,” she explains. “I continued to grow my oil portfolio and show and sell work to the Nantucket Artists Association.”

“Thanks to my mum, I opened a small gallery on the Old South Wharf in 2013. Although I only had the gallery for a year, it turned out to be a really transformative time for me; I was able to meet hundreds of people who came to shop and dine on the quay,” Meredith describes. “Having a ‘brick and mortar’ shop has allowed me to become the face of my brand as a professional artist in Nantucket.”

The following year, Meredith discovered the joy of teaching by starting a private educational art business: “Over the next six years, I had the great pleasure of working with many talented young artists. Together we explored different parts of the island and really enjoyed plein air painting,” or the act of painting in the open air. She goes on to say, “It has been a tremendous joy to see so many of my students grow into outstanding young artists in their own right.”

As social media platforms became more popular for sharing artwork, Meredith says she started photographing [her] painting process more and more. She also began “trying her hand at watercolor as [she] started to see online businesses popping up that can print your own work on a variety of products including mugs, stationery, wrapping paper, and more.

Meredith articulates the importance of experimenting with as many mediums as possible to best find the style, medium or theme that represents your artistic identity, talents and passions: “Having been a competitive athlete when I was young, I use this discipline to motivate me to create and paint to the best of my ability on a daily basis.Because we live in a very visual world, having the ability to share my work with others so easily online creates good competition .

“Through the power of social media, I have had the opportunity to create my own online ‘gallery’ over the past decade.” In this space, Meredith is not only the artist, but also the administrator, curator, marketing director, photographer and videographer. And ultimately, she would “put the oil paintings and gallery life on hold to pursue product collaborations and creative content production partnerships.”

So what does a day in the life of a professional artist look like?

Meredith says, “Every day is different! I could spend all day painting, and the next day I could be more focused on product photography and film, while keeping up with administrative tasks such as email and Instagram correspondence with clients and customers. potential customers.

Additionally, she says her artistic process also varies depending on the medium she is working with. “When I enter into a collaborative partnership, I like to provide clients with a preliminary watercolor sample of our proposed project and I can continue in that medium or switch to acrylics.”

Meredith advises, “Having an open line of communication with the company you’re working with is essential, as it’s important to make changes in a timely manner to meet work deadlines. »

Later in our interview, she adds, “The most important advice I received was to remember to focus on what makes you happy and to do/create what inspires you.”

“For the past few years, planning and undertaking collaborations has been a bit of a laboratory experiment; there is no exact method or calculation that an artist can use to ensure that a project will be completed on time, or that a client will not need additional edits,” Meredith explains, “ which, in turn, affects the timing of your next collaboration. I feel very lucky to be doing what I love and to have the support of my family behind me to continue this artistic journey as my schedule is very “go, go, go” all year round.

Hanson expresses his gratitude to his mother, brother and fiancé Trevor, saying, “[They] are my best business consultants and strategists.

2022 has been a big year of collaborative projects for Meredith, once again finding opportunities through social media. “I’ve had the chance to connect with businesses and business owners in Nantucket, and more nationally, through Instagram. Last fall, I had the incredible opportunity to work directly with Samantha Benson from Sammy & Nat and Emily Hikade from Petite Plume,” Meredith reveals.

“Our watercolor collaborations will be releasing this summer and throughout the holiday season, alongside a special collaboration with Erin Hornyak from Navy BLEU and Jillian Moorhead from Powder Puff Collection,” she shares.

In addition to collaborations with watercolor collections, Hanson has ongoing partnerships to create hand-painted acrylic collections with Serena & Lily, Peter Beaton, Over the Moon, and J. McLaughlin.

Additionally, this year, a number of her collaborations will be bridal or wedding themed. “Collaborating with Peter Beaton and Over the Moon on an exclusive collection of hand-painted hats was incredibly exciting,” Meredith recalls. “Over the Moon is an e-commerce platform and wedding registry [that] has taken the market by storm. I posted photos of my painting process on my Instagram account and when we officially launched, several collections sold out within days!

Looking ahead, Meredith will be working on creating hand painted ornaments for the holiday season with a particular focus on Nantucket wedding venues. “Every year, literally, hundreds of people get married on the island, and having a hand-painted ornament of their wedding venue or a special island scene is something these brides really cherish,” she says. .

Welcome to town, Meredith. We hope you find inspiration here at Hingham! You can follow Hanson on Instagram @merhanson or visit her website, meredithhansonart.com, for more information.

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