Self-taught artist from Ely says life would be ‘incomplete’ without lifelong hobby

PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 October 2020

Charlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Pictures: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORD

Charlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Pictures: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORD

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A self-taught artist who has been producing art every day since childhood said that without art, her life would be “incomplete”.

Charlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORDCharlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORD

Charlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching a range of different works from her home in Ely, which has ultimately become a way of life.

“I started when I was younger; me and my mum would sit for hours drawing,” she said.

“Ever since then, I have done art. Then, when I was 14, I decided to start doing commissioned work and ever since, have been doing painting or drawings every day.

“I am still doing commissioned work, but I do a lot of my own personal work that I sell.”

Charlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORDCharlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORD

Charlotte, 20, said she spends from two hours to a whopping 110 hours to complete a small or medium-sized piece of artwork, with one of her latest taking 90 hours to finish.

After posting what she said is “one of my favourite paintings” of a galloping horse on Facebook, Charlotte then received a wealth of praise.

One said “what an unbelievable talent you have, it’s utterly beautiful”, while another recognised “you have a lot of passion in what you love. Take it further.”

Some of Charlotte’s work relates to wild animals, as well as horses, but these aren’t her favourite pieces.

Charlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORDCharlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORD

“I have done countless pieces that I could not count. I like to paint horses, but I love sketching wild animals too,” she said.

“I love all my wild animals, but my favourite paintings are ‘Calm before the Storm’ and ‘Bokeh’.”

MORE: Artist’s virtual tour and painting sale raises money for charity

Concentrating for long hours has sometimes proved a challenge for Charlotte, who is studying Fine Art at Middlesex University.

Charlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORDCharlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORD

It’s not just a hobby, however, but a way of life and without that, Charlotte, originally from Cambridge, feels she would not be the person she is today.

“For all my life, I have just done art as I found my calling in life,” she said.

“Sometimes it’s hard to focus, but not all the time as you get lost when doing it and you lose track of time.

“I do paint or sketch every day without fail, and if I don’t paint or draw, it doesn’t feel right because it has become part of my life. It’s like if I didn’t eat.

Charlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORDCharlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORD

“I just want to be self-employed so I can carry on what I’m doing. As I always say, I’ve never worked a day of my life.”

Charlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORDCharlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORD

Charlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORDCharlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORD

Charlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORDCharlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORD

Charlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORDCharlotte Hannaford has been painting and sketching for most of her life and she said without art, her life would be incomplete. Picture: CHARLOTTE HANNAFORD

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