Hana E. Panek

I was born in communist Prague, Czech Republic, and grew up in different world cultures as my parents moved in search of opportunity and freedom. I've had a fascination with art forever, and as a child remember trying hard to make sense of things around me and already understanding that maybe art had potential to transcend differences and speak to all.

Moving to the United States as a teenager, I chose a practical profession, studied architecture at Penn State University and University of Pennsylvania, and today am a successful practicing architect with special colleagues at MOSAIC Associates. In addition to my design education, I started painting regularly in the 1990’s. Primarily a self-taught painter, I have participated in many painting workshops and learned much from many wonderful and generous artists.

I now primarily paint in acrylic, often mix media and add collage, and have also painted in pure watercolor and oil.

I started in “plein air” - at first architectural pencil/ink sketches, and later watercolor landscapes. The act of sketching is one of quiet solitude. It deepens observations, and engrains experience into memory. Experientially, nature is contemplative and calming, while man-made places are stimulating and occasionally inspirational. The purity of watercolor or making black and white marks are a joy. Sometimes I get a finished piece on-site, or just need to add few finishing touches. Most often it becomes an experience and perhaps a collage piece for later paintings, or a start for a mixed media painting.

My abstract paintings, on the other hand, are created in my cramped but comfortable studio. I mix colors and move shapes, textures, and paint around; playing, remembering and learning. Themes, structures or concepts develop, which I then expand to give a painting its’ final direction. And sometimes things also seem to happen subconsciously and I just know to go along.

My paintings are in private collections in several states and overseas. I have participated in solo and group shows, show in several galleries, and have won numerous awards. I intend to get more exposure and gallery representation. In the meantime, I continue to paint because I truly enjoy it, and for the pure pleasure of the creative process.

Hana E. Panek, 2013