Artist Spotlight: Adele Yonchak

Anne Neilson Fine Art is proud to introduce the talented artist, Adele Yonchak, who is featured in our most recent exhibition, Rooted.  A Southern girl at heart, Adele was born in Martinsville, Virginia and raised in Knoxville, TN. Now a current resident of Charlotte, NC, Adele enjoys painting subjects that inspire not only herself, but her clients as well. To learn more about Adele, read the exclusive interview below!

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

I have always been creative, but after deciding to drop physics and take an extra art class my senior year of high school, I really got the art bug. I had an art teacher that was so enthusiastic and really encouraged me to embrace it. I ended up double majoring in Business and Studio Art in college, but still did not plan to make a career out of art until almost 10 years after working in the corporate world and two children later. 

Describe your aesthetic in three words:

Textured, bold, and movement


Close-up detail of Adele’s bold and textured colors

Describe your artistic process and preparation?

My process typically begins with a photograph of a place or a flower that inspires me/or my clients. I then create a simple black ink sketch to lay out the composition. The sketch is then simplified even more and transferred to the canvas with a pencil – sometimes just a few lines to block out the piece. I paint exclusively with a palette knife using active strokes to create texture and big blocks of color, layering as I go into more detail. I work quickly and decisively and tend to do my best work in a few sittings.

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Pre-painting sketching

Favorite piece you’ve painted to date and why? 

My favorite pieces are those that capture client’s happy places or favorite memories and that I know will be cherished forever. I recently painted a mountain view that was meaningful to a father and their infant daughter before she passed away and knowing that it reminds them of their precious girl is what it’s all about for me.


Who inspires you personally and/or professionally? 

Personally my family, specifically my children, inspire me every day. Whether it is in something they discover or create or just in finding joy. Professionally, I love getting to know other artists that I can relate to in both their careers and family lives. It can be a hard balance since our work is not a traditional one and it’s encouraging to know other women out there doing it as well.

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

Art, like all things, has evolved so much in the modern world. I think technology has made art much more accessible and approachable but has also made it easy for folks to devalue the time and work involved in original art. With social media it’s hard to not compare yourself to everyone else but it’s so important as an artist to stay true to yourself.

Biggest accomplishment to date (personally or professionally)? 

Honestly my biggest professional accomplishment is that people want to buy my art. When people value your creativity enough to purchase your work, it feels like such a validation and honor.   

Favorite location to paint/what is your studio like?

When we did an outdoor renovation at our home, I was fortunate enough to create a studio attached to our carport. It’s a small comfortable space with vaulted ceilings and tons of natural light. I am able to escape and focus in a space that is all my own.

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Adele painting in her studio

A random fact about you:

Adele, now a household name thanks to the singer, was my Great-Grandmother’s name. Her friends used to call her Mrs. Big Think and I like to think I inherited some of her spunk and big thinking.

adele rankin and friends

Adele Rankin and friends

Favorite place to vacation?

My favorite vacation spot is Sea Island, GA. My husband and I met there while working in college and got engaged there a few years later. It is such a beautiful place to escape and will always be special to us. 

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Sea Island, Georgia

What are you currently reading

I am currently re-reading, The Shadow of the Wind, one of my all time favorite books.

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Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron

What are you currently listening to?

Nathanial Rateliffe & The Night Sweats on repeat recently 

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

I would continue to be a mother to my three children and I have always wanted to be a novelist. Maybe some day! 

 One thing you couldn’t live without? 

Professionally, my medium size palette knife. Personally, cheese. I’ve tried more than once unsuccessfully.


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

I would love to switch lives with someone who lives completely off the grid. Preferably somewhere beautiful. But just for a day or two!

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

My favorite artist is Nicolas de Steal, the Russian abstract landscape painter from the 1940s. I love his slabs of color and the texture in his representational landscape work and he has been a huge influence on my work.


Nicolas de Steal, Les Martigues, 1954

nicolas de stael paysage du midi

Nicolas de Steal, Paysage du midi, 1953

Dream commission?

Such a hard question but I recently saw photos of a home designed by Charleston’s Amelia Handegan and her use of yellow makes me think we would be kindred spirits.


Amelia Handegan’s yellow-filled hallway

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

I hope the audience can feel the love that goes into each piece. Whether it is the love of a specific landscape like the North Carolina High Country or just simply the love of color – I hope people can tell each piece is made to provide joy to myself and to my viewers.


Washed, 30×40

 What makes your work unique?

My favorite thing about my work is that it is familiar while still being abstracted and ambiguous. The ability to elicit feelings and memories to many different people in many different ways is something I am very proud of. There is power in the simplicity and suggested.

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

My biggest goal is that people continue to respond as positively as they have to my work. I want to stay current and meaningful while continuing to challenge myself and love the process.

Stop by the gallery to see Adele’s work in person before the conclusion of Rooted on July 15th!


Splashed 40x40

Splashed, 40×40


Harvested, 40×30

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Bloomed, 24×24

Mixed Media 5

Mixed Media, 14×11