One amazing thing about the internet is how you can make such good friends without ever meeting them in person. That's the way it is for Anne. She has become a very dear friend, not only because she is a fellow artist but she is so caring and giving and very appreciative of other artists.
I love her work. She is a gifted painter and sculptor. I'm always amazed at how she can bring out the real person in her work and with great emotion and technical ability.
Here is my interview with her:
When did you start painting and what kind of work did you do then?
Actually, I started when I was 6 years old in the first grade when I drew a picture of a cow that looked like a cow with udders, spots, flat nose, etc. I surprised myself that it was so real. At that time my teacher told my mother I had talent and asked her to encourage me. I started painting in the ninth grade. I painted a back-view of an old man with a cloak and hat sitting at a rough-hewn table. Another one of note was of a little boy and girl playing dress-up in an attic, which won honorable mention in an Arkansas State competition. In the tenth grade, I painted, “Jazz Men,” which won the top award in the same competition. I loved Normal Rockwell and collected and studied his Saturday Evening Post illustrations, which inspired me to paint for a short time in his style.
When did you start doing sculptures?
I minored in sculpture at the Kansas City Art Institute and started then. A long time later I was commissioned to do bronze busts of writers for a collector and sculpted quite a few. Sculpture is a favorite medium and found that I have the ability to inject life into my work and don’t stop until I have achieved that.
What motivates you to create your art and what effect do you want to achieve?
Motivation to create has been there as long as I remember. It’s part of who I am as a creative being, which I think is true for all artists. I want to make people happier with any art that I do, but moreover, my mission is to help get art into the culture and encourage other artists to do so toward creating a new renaissance. The importance of doing that cannot be over-stated as that is the one thing that adds life to the culture. I validate anyone who is doing any kind of creating in their life. The best there is in an individual is their ability to create, not only in the visual arts but in music, dance, cooking...anything. And even in life. Just creating one’s life as an art form may be one of the highest forms. I relish helping other artists to get their work into the culture for the simply fact that the planet needs their aesthetics, a carrier wave which can melt negative emotions. Imagining a world without art? Well, that would be a gray and lifeless existence, wouldn’t it.
What successes have you had in your life in creating art?
I’ve won several awards in state contests, have works in public and private collections, including celebrities, across the U.S., have been listed in Who’s Who in the West, Who’s Who in America, Artists/USA, and have had the honor of creating over 150 works (paintings, sculpture, drawings) for a California library and a number of my busts and paintings placed in a permanent exhibit in San Diego State University. In addition, I debuted my Christmas book, “Merrywinkle, the Adventures of Santa’s Big Brother,” in Sedona, Arizona with volumes of press in newspapers and magazines and was interviewed on three Arizona TV stations and also interviewed on radio.
What advice would you give other artists in order to succeed?
Keep creating no matter what and get your work into the cultures of Earth. Ignore invalidation and have the integrity to know what you know. Be true to your goals as an artist. There are those who attack artists and have as their mission to criticize any good thing. Ignore them and get them out of your life. You are the one bringing life through your creations. Continue creating!
What are your future plans in art, including your charming Christmas books?
To simply continue creating my own ideas as well as commissioned work, which I love. Also, continue writing, illustrating and publishing future stories about the Claus family and friends. In addition, continue writing poetry and eventually publish my many poems.
Anything else you would like to add?
I have found to inject life into a work is a lesson from the Masters and after years of absorbing their work, I have concluded that the volume of life injected into a work determines its greatness. Regardless of the art form I create, I attempt to follow their lead.
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