High School Teacher Creates Beautiful Paintings as She Travels

The water that Hannah Jesus Koh carries with her is not just an ordinary tap water. She’s going to use the water for her watercolor paintings. Because when she paints the beautiful panorama of a new place she is visiting, she will be using the liquid straight from the environment that she wants to portray. 


For her, it’s some kind of mementoes for the destinations. Using the water she finds at the site to dilute her watercolor, Hannah Koh wants the residue from the landscapes to have bond to the paper as the watercolor dries up. And to make it memorable, she always paints such beauty on her journal book.


Hannah Koh, who is a high school art teacher, began using this technique when she wanted to paint the Gullfoss Waterfall in Iceland but at that time she forgot to bring water with her. She said, “But the dense mists off the waterfall heavily saturated my surroundings. And that was all the water I needed.”


She has been constantly using the water right from the site to her other paintings, for instance Hannah Koh’s watercolor of San Francisco’s Golden Gate extension was painted using Pacific salt water gathered from the shoreline underneath, while her works of art in colder atmospheres were blended utilizing dissolved snow, ice sheet and chunk of ice.


“It’s nice to know an elemental part of the scene will always be a literal part of my painting. The salty Arctic sea spray is infused into my painting of Dyrhólaey. Drops from the largest ocean on Earth permeate my small painting of the Golden Gate Bridge. The Pacific Northwest rain rains into my painting of Multnomah Falls,”