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‘Westbound’ Q + A

A follow-up to your question to me on Saturday at Carlsons’ Gallery — who is your favorite artist (did you say, Diebenkorn?) and why?



‘As we discussed, it is so hard to pick a favorite. Diebenkorn always remains in my training in the top 5. His studies are evocative and one can feel the powerful and intentional stroke and movement of the artist across the canvas.

His creative, keen eye with composition and design are always evident; especially with positive and negative space; each equally important. I have copied this artist and fall inside his process each time I understand more and more and see these lessons are expressed in my work.’

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…also curious about your procedure. Do you begin with a photo or a view outdoors or another image, or do you complete a painting and then find a name for it (as in expressionist abstraction)?


‘A view outdoors (‘driving through paintings’), field sketching and then photograph to start. The sketchbook is the essential tool of the artist; where the powerful notions and feeling about the space become so evident. As a matter of fact, that is what one does when they are ‘plein air’: gathering evidence.’ The photograph is an initial guide of remembering. Choosing the appropriate drawing/painting tool in studio is key. Then, I consider the design elements and which may take priority: shape, value, color, texture, line, edges, space etc. ‘Names’ come early in the process; usually in the beginning. I usually have music in the studio too. (a bit loud). Every painting is an abstract; even one that may be more depictive. It is a pendulum; all depends on the thoughts, feelings and intention swirling around me in studio.’

Anyway, I greatly enjoyed looking at your work — I spent a quiet hour at the gallery on Sunday. I’ll let you know when the review appears and send you a link.

‘Thanks Stephen. I really appreciate your time and energy.

Warmly, Anita’
+ stay tuned. ‘Westbound’ is open until 03/31/2019.
here is Stephen Hunter’s review: Cascadia Weekly

inside, out.

While in Civita. my (teaching) studio was a marvelous space, full of history and learning and amazing spirits.

The ‘studio’ traveled to the outdoors and as the windows and doors were opened; studio became inside + out.

Myself and the students were inside and the out again; plein air became studio; studio became plein air.


Finally, I made the connection and my depictive work, though still evident, certainly took a back seat and out came the evocative.

Have I all this time made that separation between the two?

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Studio is everywhere. I hope you find yours.

Now I have it: ‘right side out.’

It was there all along: there’s ‘No place like studio’.


new classes 2018/2019

Join me.
Contact me with your interest. Private instruction also available.


Note: There is a $35 cancellation fee. Full credit for a future class (credit expires one year from date of purchase) if you cancel before 2 weeks before the day of the workshop. No refunds for cancellations received less than two weeks before the day of the workshop.


that time of year

The rains are back in Seattle, arriving home from my travels and studio beckons.

I am gathering my notes, thoughts, sketchbook notations and paintings.

How wonderful to have these collections and recordings. It’s a mystery right now what may come next.

While ‘stepping into the wilderness’, one never knows. Stay tuned.




Translating Landscapes

A creative adventure; a new class via on-line. So great to teach landscape (design) drawing + painting and to reach out to many. Take a look at the preview + sign up.

Warmly, Anita

The landscape is a gentle way of exploring the elements that are integral to making meaningful work: line, value, color, shape, edges, composition.

In this 6-lesson class, we will use our study of landscape to work at finding our unique mark, learning and reinforcing design concepts, drawing with intent, and simplifying.


the great outdoors: some ‘passing notes’

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Gaining inspiration from the great outdoors; just right. Just over the other side of the Cascade Mountains, we got outside. Fun and games, music, hiking and water sports were all included; though I still lost myself in looking and seeing and finding the ‘crux’ and letting go; study after study, one finds their way by doing the work/play.

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My tools: pen and ink, watercolor, graphite and charcoal + art graph.

Inspired once again to pick up the many instruments in studio I play and begin some musical notes and compositions.

Get out there. So much music.

a lucky find, that (french) sketchbook.

So lucky to find this gem; a sketchbook handed to me by a wonderful antique store owner this past Spring in southern France. It is dated 1912 and I can not quite make out the signature.

Can you?

An amazing record of time and place, for sure. A souvenir I will hold deep in my heart.

Keep those sketchbooks filled with all the ‘evidence’ you can muster, each and everyday.french_sketch.jpgsk17

Civita 2018: There is never, never enough time at this place.

Stroke: It’s simply a matter of putting the right colours in the right places and doing it well.

Touch: Touch can be tender, casual, tentative, bold, curved, straight, thick, thin, sensual, energetic, dramatic or violent.

Words: Design, pride, joy, grand, flourish, style, quality, work, play, confectionery.

Thoughts: Waiting for the right mood or inspiration is counterproductive. Inspiration comes from doing. Action is more valuable than thought.

Preparations: To take moments to scrape along the golden riffles of memory. To cruise present as well as old reference. To decide size and format. To make sure that the tools are ready to go and that supports and materials are readily at hand. To decide to pre-mix colours — or merely to squeeze. To raise or lower a daring blank canvas to its beginning height. To realize that all other artists, living and dead, are sitting right here beside me. To turn up the Mozart, to count blessings and to commit.

Regrets: There is never, never enough time at this place.

Easel Living (Robert Genn)


join me:


after the show

A great day on Saturday; a thoughtful gallery, all day sun and great folk.

Its a funny thing spending an afternoon with your paintings all hanging in one room together. It’s a good idea to ‘stand back’.

I had some thoughts; about the abstract. I stepped back into studio the next day and after some warm up, watercolor strokes, a few more paintings appeared about the Skagit Valley; forceful, elegant and ever-changing.

A new direction, maybe. These paintings were waiting for me. I welcome them.


talking fields


Talking Fields

February 10, 2018

Listen. The fields, they are talking. The trees. The mountains. The rivers. The wind. They’re all talking.

My time in the Skagit Valley has been remarkable and memorable. I have studied, sketched and painted this sacred landscape over the past 35 years. I have documented its rural agricultural communities which often contain the complex and seemingly contradictory natures of large cities; they straddle both the pastoral—the fertile earth, and the industrial—the grain silo, the railroad siding, and the warehouse.

A single line and a limited palette require the artist to tell the story of place with a crisp economy. Color, temperature, movement, and character are evoked in a few swift strokes. For me as an artist, the drawn line evokes the honest nature of a place, expressing—literally—weight, value, and tone and creates an awareness of the strength of the Skagit but also the importance to preserve what is here.

My show is at the Perry and Carlson Gallery in Mount Vernon until March 1.

Come see.