In the past, I've had a love-hate relationship with social media, but amongst the chaos and online disguises, I found Annie. About five years ago, we met through Instagram and immediately felt a genuine connection. A kindred soul who shares a mutual love of art, design, and photography.
Annie has a gentle awareness of the human experience, and she channels that through painting. Her art embraces imperfections and pays tribute to the flaws in each of us.
I wish I could have sat next to her, if not only to bask in her warm and compassionate brilliance. However, an ocean and a pandemic shattered that dream, so here we are in classic Bec and Annie style, having our best conversations via the internet.
Annie, thank you for letting me into your beautiful mind once again and for sharing yourself with my little Mabel community.
To support Annie, you can purchase her art by clicking here.
You recently moved from Jervis Bay, in New South Wales (Australia) to Lebanon, Oregon (USA). What took you there?
I moved to Oregon in January 2019 as my husband is from here.
Sydney was becoming stressful and we had a lot of friends and family in Oregon so we thought it was a good idea to spend some time living in the states for a while. We are enjoying it!
Do you find that your art has evolved since moving countries? Do your surroundings change how you paint?
I think my art is constantly evolving as I find new ways of creating. I'm also discovering what I like to paint and what I don’t like to paint. I'm not sure if my surroundings have changed the way I paint because they're primarily based on my emotions, but I’m sure subconsciously my space has played part in my creative process.
Your art has connected us in such a wholesome way. Have you found that by expressing your creative freedom, you’ve been able to find a like-minded community in Oregan? In particular, Portland, I know there's an amazing art scene there.
I don’t get to go into Portland as often as I'd like however thanks to Instagram I have been able to connect with a lot of great creatives.
What are you working on at the moment?
I recently started working full time at a high school as a graduation and attendance coach, in short, mentoring kids and encouraging them to graduate. I’m loving it but it means my painting time has been cut back, so the one good thing to come out of all this isolation for me, is time to paint. I have a commission piece I'm currently working on and I've been having fun experimenting with new styles and colours.
What’s the process like?
I think I’m still figuring out my process if I’m being honest. Art for me is therapeutic and a way for me to process my emotions through creating. I tend to always have a cup of tea and some good music playing.
Your art has a beautiful simplicity to it, but it also feels very emotional. What are you feeling when you paint?
I tend to be quite a perfectionistic so I enjoy getting to let go when I paint. I feel a lot and have big emotions so I think all those feelings carry over into what I’m painting. Whether that's gladness, sadness, and everything in between, it all flows out when I paint. I also notice that I tend to pick certain colours based on my mood at the time.
Your paintings are predominately facial figures. Do you prefer this creative discipline over other shapes or patterns?
I started painting faces as it was a way for me to let go and not be so perfect. I'm super into Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso for their abstract art and faces. I feel so inspired by the fact that they aren’t perfect however they can evoke all kinds of emotions from the audience. I grew up painting and drawing from a young age and I studied art in school but never really enjoyed the process because I thought it had to be perfect, and I never felt mine was good enough. Now, I love having the opportunity to let go and enjoy the process for what it is.
Paintbrush down. Where else do you draw creativity from?
Everywhere. I love being outside and exploring. I grew up sailing on the ocean with my parents so being around water is huge for me. If I can't escape to the beach, just going to a river is refreshing for me.
What are you looking forward to?
Quarantine ending and being able to socialize again. I'm missing my friends! Also, a trip home to Australia is a must when this is over too.