Hannah's Norfolk inspiration is more than just words
Hannah Dunnett’s watercolour pictures, some inspired by visits to the Norfolk Broads, can be found in cards, calendars and now books, reports Sandie Shirley.
A reflective book, More Than Words, telling the stories behind her artwork, includes a windmill inspired by childhood holidays on the Broads.
Her illustrations are also featured in a Bible due to be published by Hodder Faith on October 2, explains Hannah, whose brother-in-law, David Dunnett, is organist at Norwich Cathedral.
The former GP gave up her job six years ago to devote more time to her growing young family and now follows in the footsteps of her late grandfather, a Suffolk artist.
The Bible verses that have helped mark and shape her journey with God - including a medical career, working with a church in Brazil and raising a family - are the hallmark of each picture. They include ‘key’ themes - faith, hope, love and comfort - for a variety of occasions, explains Hannah.
Together with musician husband, Ben, Hannah helps to run an online business selling products using her pictures in various ways.
Despite success, Hannah sees herself as “just a mum who paints.”
She works on the kitchen table - alongside Ben and another staff member - after clearing the breakfast dishes and doing the school run.
As Hannah ended her medical career, the artistic talent that had flourished as a child re-emerged and so did a new creative path to share her Christian faith.
“My artwork is just a little vehicle to take the Bible to others which is humbling and a privilege. The ‘God of all Comfort’ picture has been helpful to people during times of loss and bereavement. I spent a long time on the picture thinking really hard about which verses would encourage someone in that situation; it took me three attempts to paint it."
Now increasing numbers of Christian bookshops, cathedrals and conference centres stock her designs which are also available from the company website.
This summer, Lion Hudson published ‘More than Words’ which details the friends, images, experiences and loved ones that have inspired many of her pictures.
“I painted a sailing boat on an ocean because my dad loves sailing which he did during his childhood Norfolk holidays. It is also a powerful analogy to faith, trust and prayer during the rough and calm seas of life.”
Hannah reflects: “Medicine taught me a lot but it was never my real passion. It felt like a pair of shoes that didn't fit properly but through it I learnt so much about myself, people and God. It changed my character and my faith and gave me the confidence to make a new start.
“Trusting God for your life ahead is a constant challenge, handing him the many issues of life over which we don't have control. I don’t know what the future holds but I try to make the most of every day, taking the twists and turns ahead with an open mind.”
Pictured above is artist Hannah Dunnett.