Sharon Lee Hanse was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. As a child her mother read to her and her brother. She also recited poetry, epic ones such as the Ride of Paul Revere that has a multitude of verses. This imbued Sharon with a love of literature in all formats.
After graduating from High School, Sharon worked for National City Bank for 24 years. During that time, she studied various art media – looking for the one area she wished to concentrate on. A renewed interest in Calligraphy emerged in 1978. Sharon had done some artwork for the bank, and when they became aware of her calligraphic interest, they used that talent to create name tags and signs for various events. The bank even payed for her to attend a Calligraphy Conference in Philadelphia. The 1980’s saw an explosion of interest in Calligraphy across the country.
Since then, Sharon has studied the lettering arts and various related subjects. She is always looking for ways to expand her knowledge and expertise and enhance her work.
Sharon has been privileged to study with some of the finest calligraphers in the world. Among her teachers have been: Sheila Waters, Thomas Ingmire, Peter Thornton, John Stevens, Marsha Brady, Mark vanStone, Carl Rohrs and Leana Fay.
Sharon began to create broadsides of poetry and quotations, which lead to participation in art fairs and exhibits. At one such show, she met fellow artist Richard Hanse. Two years later they were married and Sharon moved to Barnesville, Ohio.
Under the business name TOUCAN DESIGN, Sharon established a studio in her home where she pursues her artistic endeavors. In addition to participating in art fairs across the eastern U.S., Sharon produces work on commissions for individuals, organizations and businesses.
Description of Work
Her work is primarily Calligraphy done with gouache on paper, and canvas. Sharon uses a variety of different letter styles to interpret the text. Each letter style imbues a certain feeling and can thus be used to enhance the expression of the text. The layout of each piece is carefully designed to entice the viewer to come closer and read the text. Techniques such as collage, paper marbling, gilding, etching, acrylic paste paper technique, paper cutting and embossing are used with such media as gouache, watercolor, ink and acrylic. She has also been exploring embossing her lettering and designs into copper and pewter.