40 West Artist Hana Reflects on her Residency in France

Reflections from Hana Shoup

My month-long residency in Caylus was a wonderful experience.  The quiet, medieval town was the perfect setting for making art.  I worked every day in the studio, but I also I walked in the countryside, visited pilgrim churches, and saw pre-historic drawings of bison at the caves of Pech Merle. 

During one of my walks, I saw barbed wired embedded in a tree. It made me think about man-made intrusions to nature with barriers and boundaries. Then, I discovered a new technique in my process. Using thin paper and charcoal, I made rubbings of stone and wood surfaces and applied them to the drawing. Applying the texture from rubbings made me “feel” the surface with my hands and eyes.  Then I drew back into the texture with charcoal and white chalk or cut out lines and smudged with my eraser, which expanded my vocabulary of marks and made a richer surface. My drawings became explorations of texture and the drawing process, while grounding my marks in the tree bark, wire, and rope I observed.  The conflict I observed between natural and made-made surfaces provided the catalyst for that exploration. 


When I arrived, I was always impatient to resolve something quickly. The residency allowed me to slow down and focus on drawing as a process.  Because of this experience, my perspective on drawing as changed. I see drawing as an end to itself, and not just a means to an end.  I am extremely happy with my progress during the past month and I’m eager to continue the exploration!

If you would like to read more about my experience, please visit my website www.hanashoup.com or go directly to my blog:  https://hanashoup.com/blog-3/

40 West Arts WC BID