Recent grad Jackie Hanson one of many new artists at the Concord Arts Market

  • Jackie Hanson (pictured at the Warner Fall Foliage Festival) is one of the newest faces at the Concord Arts Market. Kelly Sennott

  • Jackie Hanson (pictured at the Warner Fall Foliage Festival) is one of the newest faces at the Concord Arts Market this weekend. Kelly Sennott photo. Courtesy—

  • Artwork by Jackie Hanson. Kelly Sennott photo. Courtesy—

  • Jackie Hanson (pictured at the Warner Fall Foliage Festival) is one of the newest faces at the Concord Arts Market this weekend. Photo by Nolan Price. Courtesy—

For the Monitor
Published: 10/11/2022 3:27:13 PM

For Belmont artist Jackie Hanson, the best way to understand a place is to depict it in art.

“When you draw something, and you’re trying to capture its likeness, it feels like you’re getting to know it in a different way,” Hanson said via phone. “That’s the exciting thing about being an artist. I feel like I’m learning things nobody else in the world knows.”

Hanson, an alum of the New England College Institute of Art and Design, has been presenting her nostalgic rural paintings along New Hampshire’s arts market circuit since her May graduation. Her pieces are inspired by beautiful moments in time and painted from photos via watercolor, gouache and chalk pastel paints.

Much of her work illustrates quintessential New England scenes: a Christmas tree farm in winter, the trail looking back from the top of a mountain. “In Between the Field and the Farm” displays her grandparents’ old farmhouse, barn, and in the foreground, the shadow of her cousin who died a couple of years ago.

In particular, Hanson’s drawn to unexpected beauty; instead of capturing the iconic Portland Head Light, she found herself captivated by the cove behind it. “I found that view, where you’re not necessarily supposed to look, just as beautiful,” Hanson said.

When not painting nature, it’s animals, mostly chickens, each vibrant and distinct, but also cats and dogs, loons in water and cows in farm fields. When she finally decides to paint something, it’s like discovering that scene, or that animal, all over again.

“When it inspires me, it can feel like that moment of discovering it. It’s exciting to find that scene again in my painting,” Hanson said. “I draw my cat, and suddenly, I can see all kinds of things about her. I think that’s why people say I capture [their pets’] personalities. Even though I never met them, or they passed away, I feel like I know them.”

One of the best parts about being an artist? Each day there are boundless moments that can be studied intensely. She finds it makes going through the world incredibly exciting.

“I imagine spending time getting to know this one moment in this one place. And there are so many of those moments every day. There’s so much in the world to be excited about,” Hanson said “Painting makes me happier than anything. I don’t get sick of it. I knew when I decided to be an artist that I wouldn’t have a Plan B, that I would pursue this until it works.”

This past weekend, Hanson sold her art prints, cards, and paintings at the Warner Fall Foliage Festival, an event that involved two eight-hour days at a booth inside Warner Town Hall, which was thick with vendors and foot traffic. Between customers, she worked on a small painting, a winter scene of snow-covered conifer trees.

Hanson considers it a successful festival if she makes back the booth fee plus what she would have earned at her part-time job at Art Plus on Loudon Road, which sells arts and crafts supplies and offers custom framing.

“Yesterday I made back twice that,” Hanson said on the Sunday of the festival.

At each event, she learns something new: what pieces sell best; how to keep her art safe in all weather; how to price her items; and she takes tips from other artists and crafters, who might tell her about upcoming events or opportunities.

This Saturday, she’ll be at the last Concord Arts Market of the season in Rollins Park. Christa Zuber, the event’s producer, says Hanson is actually one of many new faces to the event.

“A lot of our vendors found their art during COVID, which is exciting. I love that the arts market can be a welcoming place for new artists as well as established vendors. It’s just a great community of people. I love that there are good things that came out of the pandemic, and that more people are making art now,” Zuber said via phone.

Zuber changed the market’s format for the last couple of years, moving it from Bicentennial Square to Rollins Park, which allows more room for social distancing. What used to be a weekly event now occurs five times throughout the summer and fall seasons. While it’s not as big as say, Market Days, Zuber, who mostly sells jewelry, says most vendors do better than they did when it was more regular.

Beyond this market season, Hanson says she’s not sure where her art will take her. Will she pursue gallery art or continue selling at festivals like these? Her approach now is to try everything and see what happens.

The Concord Arts Market takes place Saturday, Oct. 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in Rollins Park. For more information, visit the market’s website ( or Hanson’s (

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