Meet Hannah Jensen, the New Zealand artist going viral with her incredibly detailed works

Hannah Jensen is having a viral moment. After garnering huge attention on social media for her work that uses Resene paint in an entirely unexpected way, this New Zealand artist is one to watch. Here, we talk to Jensen about the process behind her intricate pieces.

“My style of art is something I created when I was at university,” Hannah Jensen explains, “I had been carving on wood and was playing around with layering house paint, and really the whole thing was a happy accident.” If you are unfamiliar with Jensen’s work, the artist uses layers and layers (sometimes up to 80) of Resene house paint on a wooden board, allowing each one to dry before applying the next so that it eventually reaches a density into which she can carve. It is by applying her tools to the dried paint that the final image is brought to life.

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Her pieces are incredibly detailed and, as she reveals, take patience and planning to create. “I usually start with an image in my mind before going to Resene to choose my colour palette,” Jensen says, “they have an amazing range of paints.” From there, the artist continues, “I almost work in reverse — laying the paint down first before unveiling the image as my final step.” 

The fact that Jensen uses Resene paints (as opposed to a more conventional artistic variety) is apparently another happy accident. “I actually started with Resene,” she reveals. “I was given sample paints by a friend at uni and although it initially started as a cost-saving measure, there was one year that I decided to try every other kind of paint I could get my hands on, and ended up returning to Resene anyway — honestly, nothing else does what Resene Lumbersider does, it’s just great paint.” 

Now, after a video of Jensen completing a piece went viral on Instagram over Christmas (it currently has 4.8 million views) the artist has been inundated with commissions. “Right now, I’m working with some incredible clients from all over the world,” she tells me, “but I do have a couple of passion projects I am hoping to make a start on by the end of this year.”

We will be following along with interest.



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