Ann has chosen two of her favorite paintings from 2013, and talks about taking risks in her work as well as where she finds inspiration:
Floral Fantasy in Red oil on gessoboard 16"x12" 2013
Morning, Neva River oil on gessoboard 10"x8" 2013
I chose these two paintings because I think they represent the direction that my art is heading now. I try everyday to give myself "permission" to convey my subjects more loosely, while communicating a sense of time, place, or mood. When I feel myself tightening up, I turn to my old master friends for guidance and inspiration. Books on Nicholai Fechin, Robert Henri, Richard Schmid, and Diego Velasquez are opened and ready all around my studio. If they could paint with flourish and bravado, why can't I?, I ask myself. When all else fails, I hop on the train and spend a few hours in the Impressionist Galleries at the Art Institute of Chicago. If inspiration doesn't hit me through all the thick paint and breathtaking color combinations, it never will!
This past year, teaching and traveling have taken up a good deal of my time, and I see this as a good thing. When I teach, I have to translate my ideas into something that I can explain, and this helps me to make my thoughts more concrete. And of course, I then have to practice what I preach! I can't tell my students to take risks and challenge themselves if I'm not doing the same thing everyday in my studio. Traveling has opened my eyes to new art (The Hermitage and the Russian Museum in St Petersburg) and new cultures (Port Antonio, Jamaica). In the coming year, I'm hoping to use these experiences to enrich my art and to continue to push myself into new directions.