Hannah Woleslagle recently relocated to Mexico Beach for a little bit of sunshine and a lot of new beginnings.
The Ormond Beach transplant came to the area to be with her family while searching for new inspiration for her acrylic, colored pencil and graphite works of art.
Having only been in town a few weeks, she already has her studio set up on the second floor of the Centennial Bank building in Port St. Joe.
“I love the area,” said Woleslagle. “The people are kind and genuine and it’s nice to have a sense of community.”
The part-time artist, who draws portraits, original pieces, design and caricatures, is anxious to make her mark on the local art scene in order to “connect to people on another level.”
She views her work as a combination of realism, surrealism and portraiture and is inspired by the works of Vincent van Gogh, Salvador Dali and Michelangelo.
“The Sistine Chapel is incredible,” said the artist. “It shows the beauty of realism.”
Woleslagle has studied under a healthy diet of vivid colors and works that are full of personality. She enjoys exaggerating the colors she uses in her own work in order to capture the energy within the setting.
“I pour my heart and soul into each piece of work,” Woleslagle said. “Art has been the best way for me to connect with other people.”
Some artists refer to themselves as “starving,” but Woleslagle has been making money on her art since she was in kindergarten.
Ever the entrepreneur, she would draw cartoon characters in the lunchroom and sell them to her classmates. Her take home was $20-$50 a day until the principal shut her down.
In fourth grade, she competed in her first art show in which she won a poster contest for the annual D.A.R.E. Smoke Out. Her poster design won at the state level.
While living in Ormond Beach, Woleslagle was one of 100 artists invited to showcase at the annual Art in the Park event and was invited again last year.
She was also one of the starting members of the Ormond Beach Art Army, a group that works to connect artists all over the world.
“Art has been a calling,” she said. “I’ve never had a negative response and I love that tear-jerker reaction the first time someone sees something that I created for them.”
Woleslagle’s caricature talents are available for parties and events for those who want to give their guests a “unique experience.” She is also available for commissions of original works.
“The art community is so accepting,” said Woleslagle. “Everyone wants to help one another.”
Long term plans include her own storefront, potentially in Gulf County, that will bring together art, fashion and a great cup of coffee.
While living in the area, Woleslagle plans to attend Gulf Coast State College for business in order to more effectively market and promote her art.
“I want to take this town full force,” she said with a smile.
Woleslagle’s gallery is available by appointment only.
To get in touch, visit her online at www.portraitsdoneright.com.