An intense spiritual connection with G-d was what Hanna Dettman said inspired her to paint Jewish-themed artwork. It was not an audible voice, said the 61-year-old artist, but an overwhelming feeling that “G-d was pushing me gently towards this. I was very thrilled.”
Dettman’s line includes 12 paintings with themes of Shabbat and Torah. Her work lies within the realm of the abstract, paintings “inspired by things that are more emotional, not quite technical.”
She paints on water color paper and combines different media such as pastels, tissue paper, acrylic paint, color pencils, ink and colored pens. Using a technique for printmaking called block printing to produce a multi-dimensional piece, the paintings “have some texture to them. It’s a little more tactile.”
Dettman sees the Holy Land as her subject of artistic expression. She took a trip to Israel in 2014. “Israel has such contrast in it, such great emotion.”
When she paints, she relies primarily on color to capture emotion. Israel is figuratively colored by grievances, grief and conflict. “Israel has very intense conflict, but there is really great power there,” she said.
Dettman sees the tension in Israel and feels hopeful for change. “G-d has wonderful things happen there. The fact that Israel even exists is so huge; it’s a miracle.”
Shabbat is her first Jewish-themed line because the weekly day of rest is “a joyous celebration of the fact that G-d is involved in every part of our life and wants us to think of Him all the time.”
Originally from California, Dettman knew since childhood she was an artist. She took art classes the University of California in both San Diego and Los Angeles, but studied European Jewish art and the history of Jewish art on her own.
In the future, she would like to visit primary schools and hold guest workshops. “Kids are really in touch with their creativity. They are really free.”
Anyone can produce art, but when it is from a genuine, integral place from within, technique is inconsequential, she said.
“I would like to encourage the young people that they can make something beautiful.”
Artistic expression is not always driven by perfection and too many people are held back by a lack of confidence. “So many more people can enjoy expressing themselves with art,” she said.
Dettman sells her artwork on Redbubble, an e-commerce site that produces her paintings on t-shirts, tote bags, iPhone cases, pillows, clocks, mugs, greeting cards, and notebooks. She will soon expand her Jewish line to incorporate Rosh Hashana paintings, but always through the guidance of G-d, she said.
If you are interested in Dettman’s work, visit: https://www.redbubble.com/people/hdettman/collections/892860-spiritual