AND ARTIST STATEMENT
Born in Chester, England, Ann’s family moved to Vancouver, B.C. in the mid sixties. Being the daughter of a fashion designer/painter meant that she was surrounded by art from an early age, which ultimately influenced her desire to enter the world of painting.
Since then, Ann has spent most of her life painting in oils, both in studio and in the outdoors, en plein air. She has participated in and helped organize many plein air events throughout Canada during her career. Painting outdoors comes with its challenges, but honing one’s observation skills makes it worthwhile. Observing the effects of light on your surroundings is extremely beneficial to understanding how to portray that light in your painting. Ann’s preference is painting large scale, panoramic landscapes, stands of trees, and close up florals.
Her work is shown in galleries in Ontario, Alberta and B.C., and held in collections around the world. She is a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, and has won numerous awards in various FCA shows and Plein Air Festivals. Ann spends most of her time working and teaching at her studio in Lake Country, B.C.
“AND THEN I DANCE
I seek to learn the language of nature, to feel at one with the trees and plants that surround us . When I go outside for a walk, or to paint or simply to sit and enjoy the smells and sounds, I feel a rush, a pure inner joy and elation – it makes me very happy. I want to capture that happiness in my work. I watch the way the tall lean stalks of the flowers around me move gently in the wind, always turning their heads to the sun like dogs do. Basking in the day, I long to document my feelings about my surroundings. Each petal, limb, leaf is different from the one beside it, each beautiful in its imperfection. It is this imperfection , this uniqueness, that I wish to record of my canvas. I look at trees and I feel grounded – I believe they have a story to tell if you listen long enough. I yearn to draw their gnarly limbs, to capture their individuality, to paint their linear personalities.
Painting for me is all about the mark making , a feel for the sinewy, flowing lines that make up the world around us, forever reaching skyward, towards the sun, fighting for the little space afforded them. I paint what I feel and most often without reference. I call on my memory of the moment, the feelings evoked in that moment when I set eyes on the beauty surrounding me - it can be the shapes before me, the harmony of the colors, perhaps the heat of the sun or the ominous clouds rolling in on the horizon. I find my best paintings come immediately after I have experienced the sensations of a particular scene. I capture it on camera to remember the basic structures and shapes, the rest is then fabricated from emotion. I paint freely and without abandon, delving deep inside me for my inspiration. Who gave me this joy? Where did it come from? I’m overwhelmed sometimes by the powerful passion that bubbles up from my soul and demands that I seize it, putting it down on canvas for others to see. I am not always successful at that portrayal and that pains me. But I do not give up.
Sometimes at night when I close my eyes, I see color in rich buttery brushstrokes. Other times I daydream about my paintings, resolving issues I may have with them, or just figuring out how to infuse the color I want. And when It all comes together in my paintings, I recognize it immediately – I know I have then succeeded. And then I dance.