March 24, 2023

Q&A with Maker-in-Residence Addie Hirschten


by Kris Hurst

Many have asked about our next maker and we are happy to announce that Addie Hirschten will be working out of the Ignite Maker-in-Residence studio this summer from May-August.  Addie is a contemporary impressionist painter, art teacher, author of several books, and former children’s librarian. You can find out more about her creative work here.  Having worked with all ages, Addie will offer classes for adults, teens and elementary aged children. Her classes range from abstract painting, to realistic drawing to storytelling. Stop by to add a personal symbol to a community display featured during her residency. Read on for a Q&A with Maker-in-Residence Addie Hirschten. Learn about her inspirations and achievements in the world of art!

Q&A with Maker-in-Residence Addie Hirschten

What mediums do you work in and why?

I love working with opaque paints like acrylics and oils.  I love the richness of color that can be created with opaque paints.

Where do you draw artistic inspiration from?

From within and without!  I draw inspiration from the inner world of my emotions and imagination as well as the outside world.  I love both expressing myself to share a story and the challenge of reflecting the graceful details of nature.

What is your favorite art tool/supply?

The good-old trusty paintbrush is my favorite art tool.  I also enjoy finding interesting objects to paint on like antique furniture and frames.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

I love Van Gogh and Monet for their intense use of color.  I love Maria Sibylla Merian and other botanical artists for their close attention to the details found in the natural world. I love Hilma auf Klint and Kupka for how they broke the boundaries of how art is used to express spirituality and emotions.  I love Thornton Dial for how he used mixed media to share stories of those who have suffered from oppression.

What kinds of things will you be doing during your residency in Ignite?

During my residency I will be sharing techniques to use artwork to express your emotions and stories.  We will learn a variety of skills including realistic drawing, color mixing, and the experimental spontaneous techniques of surrealist artists.  It is my goal to share artistic skills in a way that encourages my students to find their own voice and style.

What art accomplishment are you most proud of?

Years ago, my daughter and I transformed a dumping spot in our neighborhood into a colorful path.  We cleared the trash, laid painted bricks in the ground, and added painted pots of plants.  Of all of the projects I have done it was the most dramatic transformation.  The artistic process has the power to transform the material world around us as well as our inner emotional world.  We have a choice, to create more beauty or ugliness in this world.  I choose beauty.

What is something you still hope to accomplish in art?

I would like to create several new series of paintings: waterfalls, depictions of leaves falling, the motion of water in the ocean.  I have several ideas for children’s books and would like to do more illustrative work.  I have learned basic woodworking skills. (I built a table!) And I would love to learn how to carve in wood as well.

What else do you want the HEPL community to know about you?

I am very thankful to have the opportunity to share my ideas with you.  I hope that you find inspiration in our classes together and that you in turn share your ideas with the community.  I hope that you find the courage to express yourself so that we can all learn and grow together.


To register for classes with Addie Hirschten during her residency in Ignite, visit Ignite Studio’s event calendar. We hope to see you in Ignite this summer!