Ann Hanson | Chronicles of the West

By Gretchen Reynolds

ANN HANSON WAS LEADING A QUIET, STABLE HOUSEWIFE’S LIFE back in the mid-1980s. She was also, without quite realizing it, drowning. At the time, she and her husband, a brakeman on the railroad, had three small children and were also raising Hanson’s youngest sister. The entire family was squished into an 1,100-square-foot apartment in Gillette, WY. A stay-at-home mom and more-than-full-time housekeeper, Hanson understandably felt harried and sometimes crushed by all the work. When those moments came, she’d sneak into a quiet corner in the apartment, pull out a pad and charcoals, and start sketching. Since childhood, drawing had been her private outlet for creativity, for relaxation, and for reestablishing her sense of self in a crowded, demanding world.

But the time she spent with a sketchpad remained a guilty, almost furtive pleasure until the day her husband came home with a drawing table. He sat his wife down and said, “You have to start making art. I can see you need this.” (We should all, as Hanson says, be “so blessed” in our mates.)…

Featured in March 2007


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