Artist Ingrid Cowan Hass


Music and painting have been an intricate part of my life from a young age.  As a professional musician and puppeteer, I am busy with rehearsals, practice, or teaching, but I always have pictures and colors brewing in my head.  I believe that color speaks directly to the heart, mind, and spirit of a person, in a similar way that music does.  Color is very often the vehicle I am drawn towards to express my relationship to the subject.

I like to sketch musicians in action, but even ‘silent’ subjects have a song.  I might ask myself, “Does this still-life sound like blasting trumpets or a mellow flute?  Is this landscape mood in a minor or major key?”   I often use an under-painting, a background of lines, fields, shapes and colors not directly related to the subject of the painting, to enhance the feel of rhythm, increase the variety of colors and add an abstract quality.   I like to paint what I see in a ‘real’ space, but through my special glasses. Someone once called it “Creative Realism”.


Ingrid Cowan Hass grew up in the foothills of North Carolina and has lived in Greenbelt since 1998.  She majored in Studio Art with a minor in Music from Smith College in Northampton, MA and holds a Master’s degree in Opera Performance from the School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC.  Ingrid is a professional musician, a mezzo-soprano, who performed regularly in opera, oratorio and recital in the greater Washington DC area. In 2012, she founded a puppet company, Beech Tree Puppets, with her husband, Ole Hass, giving performances of their original works in schools, libraries and public spaces.  Ingrid teaches voice, piano and various art classes to adults and children and maintains an art studio in her home.

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