Hannah Dray Vokey

Hannah Dray Vokey

Hannah Dray Vokey



Hannah graduated from Hartwick College with a BA in fine arts. After graduation she worked at the Hill Holliday advertising agency in Boston, MA while perusing her interests in portrait drawing on the side with noted Boston School painter Robert Cormier. Cormier invited Hannah to be a student at the R.H.Ives Gammell Atelier on Newbury Street, a full scholarship program teaching classical drawing in combination with impressionistic color and seeing. After a few years at the Gammell atelier she furthered her studies with another noted Boston School painter, Paul Ingbretson at the Ingbertson Studios located in Framingham, Ma (now in Lowell, MA).


After her formal training, Hannah decided to put her pursuit of drawing and painting to the side for a while in order to focus on her career working as a graphic artist for Lotus Development in Cambridge, MA, then as a website developer for a customer relationship software company, also in Cambridge, MA.


Interesting enough, it was her great passion for surfing that ultimately inspired her to pullout her paints again and move back to pursuing art. Spending all that time in the ocean allowed her to experience the wonderful moments only an ocean perspective can offer, such as how the changing light of the day effects the color of the water and sky all around her, and the need to put these impressions down on canvas became too strong to ignore. She began by doing what she calls “Surf art”, an artistic process where she jotted down notes and made sketches of all that she remembered seeing and even feeling while out surfing that day, whether it be the colors and cloud formations at sunrise or sunset, or the deep green color the water suddenly turns during a fall afternoon as a squall passes further out on the ocean , or how grey and glassy the water became as she watched the fog roll in all around her and her surfboard. She had a great yearning to recreate these experiences on canvas.


Eventually Hannah made the full moved back towards her original love of portrait work, still life and plein air landscape painting, but she is so grateful for the imaginative painting she did with her surf art because she feels her having to rely on her memory and “mind's eye” to paint the atmosphere and color she saw out on the water has aided her in being more sensitive to seeing and capturing the atmosphere in her paintings when out plein air painting on land.



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