Monthly Archives: January 2018

Kinuko Hoffman

Jan 18, 18

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Living in multiple countries across Asia, studying traditional Chinese brush painting, and later attending the National Academy School of Fine Arts in New York, Kinuko Hoffman blends tradition and abstraction developed across her extensive training and experiences as an artist. She uses a range of mixed media in her work, such as pumice, paper, wood, string, and cloth to achieve an understated complexity.  Describing her artistic process and purpose, Kinuko states, “I combine materials with explorations of color and composition to create a harmony that transports the viewer into a meditative state where balance, drama, and clarity unite.”

Name: Kinuko Imai Hoffman

Hometown: Kyoto, Japan

Currently Living: New York City

When did you start your career in art?

I started painting in 1984. I first studied traditional Chinese brush painting in Taipei and Hong Kong. After moving to New York in 2003, I switched to abstraction and began to seriously pursue an art career.

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Han Gan, Tang Dynasty ca. 750, hand scroll ink on paper, Metropolitan Museum of Art

What makes your work unique?

Starting from traditional Chinese brush painting, I found my voice through abstraction with mixed media. By blending these two very different mediums, I try to create a uniquely original style that conveys a strong conceptual work of art.

142_Distinct_Path_50x40 - Kinu Hoffman

Distinct Path, acrylic, cloth, paper, pumice on canvas, 50×40

Describe your aesthetic in three words?

Clarity, Complexity, Nuance.

How much preparation goes into a painting?

I work intuitively and let painting evolve through my process of applying colors and materials. I have a rough idea, which I sketch beforehand, but often the finished piece is quite different from the original sketches.

Who inspires you professionally?

Esteban Vicente, Nicolas De Steel, Morandi, Zoa Wou-ki, Agnes Martin, Richard Diebenkorn, and Isamu Noguchi.

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Esteban Vincente, Blue, Red, Black, and White, 1961, MoMA

Who inspires you personally?

All human beings who have compassion and respect for others.

Favorite place to paint? What is your studio like?

My favorite place is the heart of New York City. My studio is located in Long Island City, right outside of Manhattan. From my window I have a beautiful view of the NYC skyline.

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Kinuko painting in her Long Island City studio

Favorite place to vacation?

Near the ocean or in a big city filled with interesting culture and delicious cuisines.

What would you be doing if you were not an artist?

I dreamed of being an archaeologist since I was very young.

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Archaeology Dig

Whats a recent hobby you’ve discovered?

Caring for and growing plants; potted plants in a city environment.

If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?

Hokusai Katsushika, the Japanese artist or Ukiyo-e, painter and printmaker of the Edo period.

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Hokusai Katsushika, The Great Wave, ca. 1830-32, Metropolitan Museum of Art

One thing you could not live without?

Painting brush.

A random fact about you?

I am 5’8″, which is rather tall for a Japanese woman of my generation.

What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art?

Art is becoming a commodity. More provocative art gets attention. The real sense of beauty is not appreciated properly in today’s art world.

And how do you approach or overcome them?

I have to believe in myself and not be distracted by the surroundings.

Biggest accomplishment to date (personally or professionally)?

Personally, I am most proud of raising 2 well-adjusted young adults who have lived and traveled with us to five different countries. Professionally, I never stopped painting and experienced so much in those different cultures, which have strongly influenced my artwork.


Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?

After several years at the Art Student League of New York, my work was selected for the annual catalog that is distributed around the world. The piece is called “Bella” and it was the beginning of finding my voice in art.

What do you want your audience to know about your work?

Many layers of color are applied to the canvas to create contrasting soft and hard edges. I want the viewer to see the complexity and nuance in my work.

Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next five years?

I hope to show my work internationally in the future.

Visit Anne Neilson Fine Art to see Kinuko’s beautifully complex paintings on view in our current exhibition, Coup de Foudre!

Fearless - 24x20

Fearless, acrylic, cloth, paper, pumice, and string on canvas, 24×20

Devotion - KIH - 50X40_72 dpi

Devotion, acrylic, cloth, paper, pumice and string on canvas, 50×40

Hana II - 44x36 - $5200

Hanna II, acrylic, cloth, paper, pumice, and string on canvas, 44×36

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Leap, acrylic, paper and pumice on watercolor paper, 30×22

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Sfumato, acrylic, paper and pumice on watercolor paper, 30×22


Jane Schmidt

Jan 17, 18

Anne Neilson Fine Art is excited to present their newest artist to join the gallery, Jane Schmidt! Living in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, Jane is inspired by the vivid colors of her surrounding environment. Her abstract landscapes use color and texture to express more what is felt rather than what is seen by direct observation. Her paintings evoke a strong connection to nature and portray a variety of colors, which balance the landscape between realism and abstraction. Keep reading to learn more about Jane and her artwork.


Name: Jane Schmidt

Hometown: Birmingham, Michigan

Currently Living: Asheville, NC

When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?

I started my creative career in the mid 1970’s as a graphic designer. Initially I was a senior designer for a large architectural firm in Detroit and later had a design firm in Phoenix, AZ where most of my work focused on corporate branding. It was not until 2004 that I completed a three year Masters of Painting curriculum at Arizona State University and began my career as a fine artist. I have since taught art and art history at several colleges and universities but my primary focus has been to paint in my studio.


Describe your aesthetic in three words:

Searching, Describing, Revealing

Describe your artistic process and preparation?

My artistic process typically begins with a canvas or board stained in a warm red. The red gives a glow to subsequent colors and reminds me of the warm earth tones on which colorful vegetation rests. I seldom have a composition in mind before I paint  but I usually start with gesturing dark organic shapes that will later serve as trees or shrubbery and will help to define the visual flow. I build a painting in multiple layers working from large to small shapes, further defining forms with each subsequent layer.  My landscapes are not site specific but are memory based and reflective of many landscapes worked into one. Warm and cool colors play off each other as do contrasting values and complementary hues.


Close up detail showing layers and texture

Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?

I don’t have a favorite piece. My greatest pleasure is in the process and discipline of painting; the layering of colors and the mindful balance between energy and restraint.

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?

Several artists serve as inspiration to me to include Pierre Bonnard, Richard Diebenkorn, Joan Mitchell, Edvard Vuillard, Henri Matisse and Wolf Kahn.

1955 Berkeley #57

Richard Diebenkorn, Berkeley #57, 1955

What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art? And how do you approach/overcome them?

The biggest challenge to fine art is its continued dismissal in our public schools and public programs. The emphasis of a STEM education at the expense of fine arts funding is voiding our society of a culturally rich and mutually beneficial environment. We need only to study the growth of strong and vital urban societies to note their dependence on the arts as the fabric of enrichment. Unfortunately as I write this blog we are under the thumb of a government that refuses to acknowledge the value of the arts.

Biggest accomplishment to date (personally or professionally)?

I measure success as a series of small accomplishments determined by tenacity and integrity…  to be both vulnerable yet shielded, humble yet assertive. Grateful always for gifts and talents bestowed on us.

Favorite location to paint/what is your studio like?

Favorite location to paint is my studio. It’s quiet and has good feng shui, allowing me to paint with total submersion and concentration.



Jane’s Studio in Asheville

A random fact about you: I love the smell of gum erasers.


Favorite place to vacation? And/or dream trip?

Maine has always been a favorite place to both vacation and paint.


One of Jane’s works painted in Maine

What are you currently reading?

A Little Life by Hanna Yanagihara; a beautifully written portrait of the friendship of four men.


What are you currently listening to?

Yo-yo Ma on Pandora.


What would you be doing if you were not an artist?

I have often thought about being an architect, most likely residential. I have such a fascination with the structures we call homes.

One thing you couldn’t live without?

Can’t live without my dark roast coffee in the morning or my cheap white wine at the end of the day.

If you could switch lives with anyone for a day, who would it be?

I would like to be that person who could and would permanently remove Trump’s twitter account. This would remove so much of the fear, anger and hate he stirs up with his bullying tweets.

Your all-time favorite artist and/or your favorite emerging artist?

Favorite artist is Pierre Bonnard. I love his use of color and texture to convey the simple and endearing landscapes of home and family.


Pierre Bonnard, Huile sur Toile, 1964

Dream commission?

A public installation in an urban environment in need of a colorful and cheerful reminder for passerby’s to look up and smile.

What do you want your audience to know about your work?

That it is both heartfelt and honest.

What makes your work unique?

If your work is heartfelt and honest it is also unique. We all have an inner voice if we take the time and space to listen it will guide us to the expression that is uniquely our own.

Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years:

To stay of healthy mind and body so as to always be able to paint.

Stop by the gallery to see Jane’s honest at heartfelt landscapes now at ANFA for yourself!

PAESAGGIO ELEVEN 12 x 12 oil on wood

Paesaggio Eleven, 12×12

Snow on the Blue Ridge - 12x12 - $1250Snow on the Blue Ridge, 12×12

Interactions of Color and Form #1 12 x 12 oil on wood

Interactions of Color and Form I, 12×12

Interactions of Color and Form #2 12 x 12 oil on wood

Interactions of Color and Form II, 12×12


Artist Spotlight: Judith Vivell

Jan 8, 18


Name: Judith Vivell

Currently Living: New York, NY

When did you start your career in art? How long have you known you wanted to be an artist?

My father was an attorney, but he was also a Sunday painter, and my mother had studied art in Paris in the 1930’s, she later became a dress designer.  My childhood home was full of art books and my father’s copies of the paintings of the impressionists and post-impressionists.  When I was in the second grade I brought home a painting of a clown I had done in poster paint on news print.  When my father saw it, he said that I would be an artist when I grew up.  He immediately had the clown framed.  From that moment on he thought of me as an artist, even if no one else did.

Tell us about your path to becoming an artist?

In my junior year my father talked me into taking a semester and a summer off to live in Florence. I took him up on it and spent most days wandering 1961 Florence and visiting the Uffizi every day.  I began by making drawings of the masterpieces I saw everywhere.  In Florence I lived at a Pension.  The woman who ran the pension always wanted to see my drawings when I would come home at night.  When she asked if she could buy one, I told her that she could have it as a gift, but she insisted on buying it.  “I want to be your first collector,” she said.


Uffizi, Florence, Italy

It was another seven years before I had my next sale.  And it was more of a trade than a sale.  I gave a painting of a large nude to a guy who wanted to sell the rights to his loft in Chinatown in New York City. Shortly after that I received my MFA from Hunter College and had my first solo show in New York at a place called Flats Fixed in Soho.  I also started selling my prints through Hank Baum Gallery in San Francisco and through Pace Editions in New York. I was in my late twenties when all that happened.

Describe your aesthetic in three words: Post-modernist realism

Describe your artistic process and preparation?

For the last twenty years I have made photography a crucial part of my process.  My paintings begin as photos which I take in locations around the world (or as in the case of still lifes, that I have set up in my studio).  I photoshop the photo as a way of producing the composition that I want. From there I draw the composition onto the canvas, put in the underpainting and proceed to paint the layers of the finished work.  Often, I let the painting dry between the underpainting and the subsequent layers.  Sometimes the best paintings are the most difficult to get “off the ground”.  There is sometimes a great temptation to scrap a painting at the beginning.  If I hang in there, and mostly I do, there is a moment when I become committed to the painting and begin to believe in it.  After that, I am in the zone and it is pure fun.  Before that it is a slog, but character building.


Judith at work in her studio

Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why?

I don’t have a favorite painting.  I tend to personally like very large paintings, but small ones have become a challenge and I am trying to become better at making smaller paintings that have the monumental quality that I like in the big ones.  Sometimes I realize that there is something virtuoso or masterful about a painting I have done, but that is not what makes a painting great.  I have paintings of certain subjects which I, myself, love, but which I know will never sell.  I am thinking of two enormous paintings of vultures.

Who inspires you personally and/or professionally?

At this moment, I am loving Indian Mogul art, Lucien Freud, Audubon, John Singer Sargent.  I never go to the Met without visiting the post-impressionist rooms.  The Rembrandt room there is one of my favorite places on the planet. I love Louise Nevelson and Alice Neal.  Walton Ford is a favorite.  Louise Bourgeoise had a recent show at the modern which was wonderful.  But Hieronymus Bosch is my favorite artist of all time.  There is an altarpiece at the Met which is so perfect and so beautiful that I can’t believe it still exists and that I can see it whenever I want.

Hieronymus Bosch (Netherlandish, ’s Hertogenbosch ca. 1450–1516 ’s Hertogenbosch) The Adoration of the Magi, ca. 1475 Oil and gold on oak; 28 x 22 1/4in. (71.1 x 56.5cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, John Stewart Kennedy Fund, 1913 (13.26)

Hieronymus Bosch The Adoration of the Magi, ca. 1475, Oil and gold on oak,The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

What challenges do you think exist in the world of fine art? How do you approach/overcome them?

It is a huge challenge to do what you believe is good and still be able to make a living as an artist.  I try to make paintings that are as beautiful and perfect as I can and hope that others will see that too. I meditate each day before I go into my studio so that I will have the power and the energy and the skill to do what I know is good.  I take very good care of my body so that I will be in top form to do my job.

Biggest accomplishment to date (personally or professionally)?

My biggest accomplishment to date is to still be alive and to be strong enough to work long hours every day.

Favorite location to paint/what is your studio like?

I paint exclusively in my studio.  My studio is a 12 x 32 ft space in my loft with 12 ft ceilings.  I don’t use an easel; I paint on the wall. The canvas is lit by track lighting.  I stand while I paint.  I have a mirror on the back wall of my studio so that I can look at the painting backwards in the mirror and check the composition that way.  I have a metro system trolley where I keep my palette (which is a piece of glass) and my paints.  Like Louise Nevelson, I clean up everything every night when I finish painting.  I wear Taiwanese jackets with pockets when I paint.  I order them on line from a place in Taiwan.


Judith’s Studio Office

A random fact about you:

My daughter says that I am the happiest person she knows.  Maybe that should have been my biggest accomplishment.

Favorite place to vacation? And/or dream trip?

So far, my favorite place has been Sri Lanka.  I love the town of Galle just because it is a perfectly in-tact 17th Century Dutch town. Most of the old buildings have been beautifully and sensitively restored.  I love the wildlife sanctuaries in Sri Lanka. I like to find birds wherever I go and work at taking pictures of them.

What are you currently reading?

I just finished Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson and Alfred Molina. I am listening to The Enormous Room by E.E. Cummings.


Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson

What would you be doing if you were not an artist?

If I were not an artist, I would be a cabaret singer.  I would, of course, have to learn to sing, but I already know all the words to all the songs I would sing, so that’s half the battle.

One thing you couldn’t live without?

You always think that you couldn’t live without something or someone, but then that person dies, or that thing is lost and you do go on.  I do have a perfume I love, it’s called Alamut by Lorenzo Villoresi.  It is made in Florence and reminds me of my magical time there when I was young.  But even that, I could live without.


What do you want your audience to know about your work?

I want my audience to know that the work is informed by the innovations of the twentieth century.  It is not academic.  It is not a throwback to something from the 19th century.  Yes, it is representational, but that is just the broth into which the real ingredients are thrown.  The finished product is a soup made up of everything which has come before it–abstract, non-objective, color-field, pop, conceptual, minimal–all of it.

What makes your work unique?

Recently a friend of mine walked into a house of a friend of hers who happened to own a piece of mine.  It was an early piece and more abstract and loose than the work I am doing now.  My friend looked at the piece and screamed, “Oh, you have a Judith Vivell!”  When she told me the story, I asked her how she knew it was mine and she said, “Who else could it be?”  I said, “Yes, but I want to know how it was different from other bird paintings.”  She said, “I don’t know what to tell you, Jude.  I’d know your work anywhere.”

Name one goal for your career you’d like to achieve in the next 5 years:

I thank the Universe for the life I now have, for the abundance that my work has generated and for the energy and power to continue to make art.  I want to improve and become better every day.  I want to make the most beautiful and close to perfect paintings possible for as long as possible.  I want to continue to wake up every morning and know exactly what I have to do.

To see Judith’s work stop by the gallery now!

Branch Diptych (2- 48X36)72x48 - $11,000

Branch Diptych, 72×48

Great Egret 40x40 $6000

Great Egret, 40×40

Great Blue Heron 40x30 (panel) $5000

Great Blue Heron, 40×30