We first met Athens, Georgia based artist Hannah Betzel a year ago at The Southern C Summit in Charleston.  Actually before we ever met Hannah we were blown away by her work on the stage at the Southern C.  Hannah's large mixed media abstract paintings are captivating.  You can stare for a long time, come back and find something new and spellbinding in her work.  We peeked inside her studio in Athens to get a look at her more recent work as well as fire away with our Q&As we call our Pardon Me series.  Enjoy getting to know this Georgia peach who is as lovely as she is talented.

What is currently on your nightstand?  

Tall tapered candles, a sleeping mask, a star-shaped candle holder, and rose water spray.

Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?

I read about a different artist every month and each one has been influencing my work quite a bit. Carmen Herrera was January’s artist so I’ve been trying more geometric pieces in my art journals. 

Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?

When I was three years old, I asked my mom where artists came from. She told me they came from Paris and I knew right then that I wanted to go to Paris when I grew up and become an artist. I’ve been a couple of times now with my husband and it is a dream come true! 

If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?

Paint. Anything can become a canvas. 

What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.

The den. There’s no tv in there. Only books, a bench with a couple of plants, photos, and a candle. There are two minimalist chairs and a fireplace with a brass barcart to the side of it. The den gets the prettiest sunlight in the mornings and is where I do yoga and a bit of reading before the kids wake up. It’s the most peaceful room in the house! 

What is your biggest score online?

Oh, that’s a tough one! I’m not sure what the biggest score is, but my favorite online purchase was my clawfoot tub. It’s very traditional except the feet are rounded and more modern.  

What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?

The benefit is being able to go to one place and trusting the curator is finding the best pieces for his or her collectors. A person rarely fills their home with only one artist’s work, so it’s nice from a collector’s standpoint to have the job of searching for artists done for them. From an artist’s standpoint, it’s so good to be listed among others you admire and to know the curator trusts the quality of work. My advice for new collectors is to buy what you love! Don’t stress over who your peers are buying or who critics say is the next big thing. Art should speak to you and it should be something that you love seeing in your space every day.  

If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?  

I love the High Museum in Atlanta. They have a good mix there and their temporary exhibits are always very interesting.

What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?

My husband and I love staying in a bed and breakfast in Charleston, SC. We’ve tried a couple different ones and they never disappoint. There’s a charm about staying on a residential street that staying in a hotel on the main streets can’t offer. It’s so nice to walk back to the room in the fresh air after dinner and see all the houses and gardens along the way.  

If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?

Peachy pink. Because I’m a Georgia Peach! It’s a fun, summery color, which suits my personality. I love warm weather and fresh color.  

What do you do to relax?

I love a hot bath, face mask, oil diffuser, and relaxing music playing in the background. Creating a playlist myself is on my list of least favorite things to do, so I use amazon prime’s spa or relaxation playlists. 

What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?

A leisurely dinner out is heaven.

Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.

I really like one I did for my boys and husband for Valentine’s Day last year. It’s very colorful but is balanced out with a good bit of white. It’s a fun piece we see in the den every day and is hanging over the shoe storage bench near the door.

One piece of advice for buying original art?

View yourself as a collector and take pride in supporting the arts. It is in large part because of you that we get to leave this world more beautiful than when we entered it.