Warm Waters: Judith Judy

Jul 8, 20

Judith Judy is a Northern Virginia-based oil painter who composes imaginary landscape scenes using soft forms and light, transporting viewers to memories of places they’ve visited or dreams of places they haven’t. In a review of Judith Judy’s work, Mark Jenkins, art critic for the Washington Post, wrote: “Her warm, radiant landscapes aren’t modeled on particular places. Indeed, they seem designed as portals, visual entrances into the world of light. Soft-textured trees and grass define the foreground and vaporous sky the background, but the action transpires between the two, on the plane where sunlight bleeds into a rich, indistinct glow.”

Judith’s work is displayed all over the world, including the Lithuanian National Museum of Art and numerous galleries in France, Italy, and the U.S.

Far From Home, 24×48, available

What is your biggest inspiration as an artist? 

To quote Chuck Close – “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.” I am a process painter, however, artists who have influenced me include George Inness, Turner, Peter Doig to name a few.

What places around the world most influence the landscape scenes you imagine? 

I grew up in Maryland and spent much of my childhood at my grandmother’s cottage on the Chesapeake bay and coastal waters. We currently have a home in the back bay area of coastal Delaware. Wetlands and marshes are part of my DNA.

Misty Morning II, 36×36, available

How do the scenes you create come to be? Do you start with a specific vision or let the process inform your choices?

I usually start a painting with a vague or general idea, but the painting will evolve in its own way. It is a process where I put some paint on the board and then react to it, layer by layer, until I get a satisfying result.

Your style consists of soft lines and muted light; have you ever experimented with other artistic styles such as bold abstractionism? 

I have a secret painter’s life painting figures, mostly faces. These paintings are completely different from my landscapes in style and process. They are a fun exercise and I am fascinated by the subject.

After college, you spent several years in a business career before painting professionally. What inspired you to pursue business after studying art in school? 

The business career was for practical reasons and I was good at it. It was only natural to return to art when circumstances were right.

You have artwork in collections and exhibitions around the world. What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to? 

Italy for the food and art. Spain because we recently traveled there with family… and the food and art.

Blue Sky and Clouds, 12×12, available

If you could get coffee with any artist, alive or dead, who would it be and why? 

Picasso, and not only because he was a creative and fearless genius, but because we actually had a mutual acquaintance. I met Marcel Salinas in 1992. He was already a man in his 80’s. He was a painter, but more importantly, he was a master lithographer. When Picasso decided to have his series of paintings Portraits Imaginaires interpreted in lithography, he personally chose Marcel to do it. Picasso was so impressed with Marcel’s work he insisted that his name be included whenever any of the prints were shown. Marcel was a dear friend. I would visit with him and he would share with me his vast knowledge of art and art history. He was a treasure.

What music or podcasts are you currently listening to? 

When I paint on Fridays I listen to Science Friday on NPR. Sometimes I will turn on a Turner Classic Movie that I have seen before just to listen to. It is just enough to keep me from overthinking the process and just let it happen. Otherwise I am listening to the Beatles, Keith Urban, Jon Batiste, opera, and many others.

With our theme of WARM WATERS, where would you travel right now if you could go anywhere? 

We had a trip planned to Iceland this year. That, of course, has been postponed until next year. I am looking forward to experiencing Iceland’s unique landscape.

Hillside Stream II, 36×36, available

To learn more about Judith and to see what work we have available in the gallery, click here.

–Julia Henegar, gallery intern

Categorized:

Warm Waters: Daniela Schweitzer

Jul 7, 20

Daniela Schweitzer is a Los Angeles-based artist classically trained with a focus on figurative and non-representational abstract paintings. Daniela draws inspiration from the energetic, vibrant colors of her upbringing in Argentina. She uses bold colors and brush strokes in her gestural paintings that tell real and imagined stories inspired by the simplicity of everyday happenings and the importance of human connection.

Renowned art critic Peter Frank asserts that, “No matter how recognizable a particular subject might be in a Schweitzer painting, its identity serves as experiential armature for a vision whose breadth leaves the
particularities of the subject well behind.”

Daniela’s paintings draw upon the emotions of herself and her subject to express narratives that evoke in viewers memories and images saturated with the same feelings. Through her work, Daniela shares with us the joy of painting and transports us to peaceful moments.

What is your biggest inspiration as an artist?

I am inspired by people around me the simple beauty of everyday stories and events. Those small, unperceived movements or gestures, the dynamics and body language of a conversation between two friends, the daily casual interactions between people, a peaceful instance that goes unnoticed to others; these moments inspire me. My surroundings also play a big role in my art. The changing blues and breezes of the ocean by my Southern California studio, the crashing waves, the beautiful light, and the colors and beauty I see during my travels shape my creativity. My figurative abstractions don’t emphasize classical figure painting or portraiture but rather reflect an appreciation for human existence and the feelings of the people around me. The gestural part of my art resides more in the core of emotions and feelings toward the subject.

A lot of your art is influenced by the vibrant colors of South America, where you were raised. How does life in Argentina compare to your life in Los Angeles?

Argentinian culture emphasizes the simple things in life like the daily routine of having “mate”– an afternoon or midmorning social shared tea, or a traditional “asado”– the argentine barbecue shared with family and friends. Family and friendships are very important. Interactions are casual and parties and gatherings often occur spontaneously. You can show up at your friend’s house without previous planning. Dinner is very late, so there is more time for social interaction during the day, but social life continues after dinner too. Life goes at a slower pace, which gives me more time to reflect on my surroundings and appreciate my time with friends and family. What I love about Los Angeles is its diverse culture, warm weather, and scenic landscapes– especially the beaches near my home, which connect my background and experiences to my paintings. Social life with friends is very important to me.

What artists have most influenced your work?

When I moved to California about 25 years ago, I became inspired by and began to study the midcentury Bay Area Figurative Art Movement. I was then and still am particularly drawn to Richard Diebenkorn’s paintings and his loose brushstrokes. I appreciate that he painted figurative and nonrepresentational abstracts simultaneously, which is something that I have also done throughout my career. I love the works of Joan Brown, David Park, Nathan Oliviera, and Elmer Bischoff, who were involved in that same movement. When I was still living in Argentina, another art movement with a similar concept of abstract expressionism inspired much of my process: the “Figuración Nueva” or “New Figuration” group of the 1960s. Their work in permanent exhibitions in Buenos Aires museums inspired much of my transition into abstract work during my early years. I especially appreciate the work of Luis Felipe Noé and the abstract figuration style of Argentine artist Enrique Sobisch. Additionally, the loose and explosive strokes of abstract expressionists such as Elaine de Kooning, Willem de Kooning, and Joan Mitchell influenced my art journey.

I am also inspired by the European masters. I adore Joaquín Serolla’s massive paintings of beach scenes bathed in vivid light. My biggest and earliest inspiration is probably Matisse, whose colors have inspired me to be bold in my palette choice.

What made you decide to pursue a career in medicine while continuing your artistic endeavors?

Drawing and painting was a part of me from a very early age. I remember studying anatomy in my art classes at a traditional art academy when I was around 11 years old. We would study the names and shapes of muscles and how they join with bones to build the body’s physique. Then we would bring that perspective into our live drawing classes with models. We would draw arms, hands, feet, and faces. This study of anatomy as it relates to art planted the seed in my head to study medicine later in life. Once I started medical school, I continued painting in private atelier environments. I love both careers and could not see myself leaving either one; I find that they complement each other. As a physician, I love interacting with patients on a very personal level. I try to bring my observations about people’s lives into my figurative abstract paintings to capture the emotions that we all experience.

How do you work painting into your schedule?

Sometimes this can be difficult. My medical practice can be intense, but painting provides an outlet to draw upon and capture all of the life experiences that are important to me, like spending time with family and friends. Painting allows me to reflect on how I feel about life and transports me to a less hectic world.

Your artwork is often influenced by real or imagined narratives. Where do these stories come from?

I love taking photos of people going about their lives. These are my references for my paintings. In my paintings, I capture my own emotions from when I took the particular picture or perhaps I imagine the emotions of the subjects in the photo. The scenes, stories, and subject matter I paint are selected because they possess a simple, beautiful, and usually colorful human gesture that exudes energetic, calm, or harmonic emotion.

Scenes by the beach and massive colorful blue waters are important elements of my art process. A lot has to do with my childhood memories of summers spent with my family at the beach in Argentina as well as my experience living in this same beach city during my last three years in South America. Since moving to Southern California, I have been fortunate enough to live close to the beach and experience the beautiful Los Angeles sun that has helped me bring extra color and light to my paintings! The ocean connects me to my past and to my family and friends who currently live in Argentina… Water connects us all!

Umbrellas, 12×12, available

Your work is abstract, gestural, and colorful. Have you ever experimented with other styles such as realism?

As an artist, I love to dabble in different mediums and styles. Even though I am usually drawn back to figurative abstracts, I was traditionally trained and therefore have practiced many other styles in the past. More realistic scenes often flourish in my sketches. Many of my early works, which are at my parents’ home in Argentina, are realist in style (figurative, landscapes, and still life).

If you could get coffee with any artist, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Jennifer Pochinski because she is an amazing artist and person.

What is your favorite city that you’ve traveled to or lived in?

I loved living in Buenos Aires. There was always so much to do and see. Argentina is where I cultivated my love of visiting art museums and photographing people going about their lives in different settings, which inspired me to combine the emotions evoked by the scene or subject into my art. But I live in another little heaven by the beach here in Los Angeles. I am so blessed.

Of all the cities that I have visited, I loved everything that Cuzco, Perú, had to offer. I hope I return there soon.

With our theme of WARM WATERS, where would you travel right now if you could go anywhere?

I long to return to Bora Bora. I love the beautiful light, the laid-back lifestyle, the clear waters abundant in marine life, the cultural traditions of the island inhabitants, and waking up to waves and sea breeze in the bungalows—this type of idyllic setting inspires me to paint!

I also love Tulum. Its beautiful beaches, rich cultural traditions and history, thriving artist community, friendly people, creative cuisine, calm ocean and river waters, and gorgeous nature transport you to a different point in time and let your worries float away.

Dreaming, 48×48, available

To learn more about Daniela and to see what work we have available in the gallery, click here.

— Julia Henegar, gallery intern

Categorized:

WARM WATERS: Dusty Griffith

Jun 26, 20

Dusty is an encaustic* artist based out of Georgia who has been creating art for over 20 years. His goal as an artist is to have the viewer become aware that through a three dimensional world we have access to a world that can’t be seen. His work are unique creations that use depth, form, and color to explore and mirror life. His work lives in many private and public collections around the world, including Delta Airlines, The Ritz Carlton, and Neiman Marcus.

Dusty Griffith - Artists - Pryor Fine Art

What draws you to working in encaustics, wax, and other mixed media?

I was drawn to encaustics because of the luminescent qualities beeswax offers when poured on plexiglass panels in thin layers.  Light passes through these luminescent layers into the space behind the surface of the wax where color can be applied creating three dimension on a two dimensional work of art. 

What three words would you use to describe your artwork?

Peaceful, serene, and dimensional

You operate a zero-waste studio. Can you describe “upcycling” and how that factors into your work?

Among plexiglass, I also use found objects such as old doors and wood scrap and cut them down to size.  Every piece of plexi and wax that is cut has a scrap piece left over that gets reused in the next piece of art.  It’s the old saying “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure.”

In the Waters Above, 58×48, available

If you could have coffee with any artist, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

The Father in Heaven is the ultimate artist and where I get my inspiration from daily.  He’s actually a good listener.  The trick is to slow down enough to be able to listen to Him.  Every artist that ever lived got their inspiration from Him as well, whether they knew it or not.

In keeping with the theme of your current exhibition WARM WATERS, where would you travel if you could go anywhere in the world? 

I’m an island junkie!  Anywhere island.  They afford a different pallet on the horizon every sunset.

Maritime Exodus I, 42×38, available

To learn more about Dusty and to see what work we have available in the gallery, click here. His WARM WATERS work will be hanging until August 28th and he is also available for commissions.

*Encaustic painting is a mixed media technique that involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments have been added. The liquid/paste is then applied to a surface — usually prepared wood, although canvas and other materials are often used. The term is derived from Greek, meaning a burning in.

— Logan Sutton, Gallery Curator

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WARM WATERS: Kerry Hays

Jun 19, 20

Kerry Hays holds a B.A from the University of Georgia. Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions throughout the Southeastern U.S. She works from her studio, The Biltmore, a Midtown Atlanta landmark built in 1924, and welcomes visitors by appointment. She is known for her geometric abstracts — harsh edged shapes fall into one another with soothing tonalities. You’ll get lost in the depths of layers.

What is your biggest inspiration as an artist?

Hard to pinpoint – everything. Unusual color combinations I see out in the world. Tv show costumes and sets. I look at coffee table books a lot when I need inspo in the moment.

Untitled Diptych, 48×72, available & hanging in WARM WATERS

Your work mostly consists of abstract shapes and lines. Why did you begin to work with these elements, and have you ever experimented with any sort of realism or figure paintings?

I have experimented a bit with other subjects – I used to do these abstract cityscapes when I first started out but I just find more freedom and joy in the abstract in the actual process of making. I also think I was trying to find a voice and a style that wasn’t as represented. I saw so much gorgeous figure work out there that I didn’t feel the need to add to that market. What I didn’t see was super graphic, geometric work that was still soft, flowing, luminous, calming… that was a style I felt like I could really own. Agnes Martin did a lot of this and she is a big inspiration but again, no matter my inspiration I really try to divert my work to make it entirely my own. I also think a lot of geometric, graphic work is typically very primary color-based, very flat planes of color, very vibrant and punchy. I like to make mine more with a more hand-made quality even if I am using punchy, bright colors… I like to make my color planes more ever-changing and translucent; it’s this interesting juxtaposition which I think is really fresh in the art world right now.

Color Study I, 12×12, available & hanging in WARM WATERS

Many of your paintings are monochromatic in theme. What is your favorite color scheme to work with?

It constantly changes but I love red and pink. Also love working with 1970’s yellows and browns.

Inside of Kerry’s studio in Midtown ATL

In 2017 you completed a solo mural installation for the launch of Ponce City Market’s Spotify channel. Can you describe your inspiration for the mural and how the process differed from the creation of your usual pieces?

That was a feat! I had never worked on a mural before. I was told to do Beverly Hills hotel palm leaves meets disco meets electronic (If I remember correctly) – and I had about a week to plan and execute so I just took a chance and fully committed and loved it. I found a way to fade hot pinks into this beautiful slime green color using spray paint as opposed to acrylic on canvas so It was a lot of playing with the technique to make it work with other materials. Spray paint and sheetrock instead of acrylic and canvas.

What artist most inspires your work?

Adolph Gottlieb, Agnes Martin, Josef Albers, Mary Obering

Adolph Gottlieb | Arabesque (1967) | Artsy
Arabesque (1967), Adolf Gottlieb

If you could get coffee with any artist, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

Basquiat – no explanation needed <3

Jean-Michel Basquiat - 723 Artworks, Bio & Shows on Artsy
Untitled (1981), Jean-Michel Basquiat

What is your favorite city that you’ve traveled to? How does travel influence your art?

It’s just a whole fresh set of inspiration when you travel. And it’s SUCH an influence because artists all being influenced by the same great artists of past. I love going to flea markets and finding influence in a “no name” artist or really lesser known artist whose work was probably overlooked but still just as beautiful as any of the greats. There is so much overlooked work, catalogues and lifetimes of work from Black artists or women or LGBTQ artists that was never even acknowledged. I hope in this current state of the world where a little progress is finally being made, big galleries make a sincere effort to dig all that up and really honor those artists and show us their work.

What music or podcasts are you currently listening to?

I listen to a lot of sulky music when I paint – Bright Eyes, Lola Kirke, Michael Kiwanuka, Leonard Cohen. And I also listen to Armchair Expert [podcast] because he usually has on comedians and I reaaalllly love comedians much more than any other kind of artist

Michael Kiwanuka Details His Third Album 'KIWANUKA' | uDiscover

With our theme of WARM WATERS, where would you travel right now if you could go anywhere?

I am dying to go back to Morocco as soon as the travel ban is lifted! Australia is also top of my list. Some of my favorite bands and designers are in Australia and I have a bucket list of music to see and places to stay there.

Chauen, contemplation blue in north Morocco - AFRICA - AtlantidaTravel

We are feeling serious Moroccan vibes from these Kerry Hays’ pieces in Warm Waters. To view all of Kerry Hay’s current work available, please click here, or stop by the gallery. Warm Waters is on view until August 29th.

—Logan Sutton, Gallery Curator
& Julia Henegar, gallery intern

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Warm Waters: Allison Luce

May 30, 20

ANFA welcomes another new artist to our roster for the exhibition WARM WATERS. Allison graduated with dual BFA degrees in Painting and Art History from Ohio University, and an MFA from Hunter College, City University of New York. An avid traveler, Allison has visited over 25 countries, deeply inspired by myriad forms of marine life found across the world. She has been a resident artist in Denmark, Germany, Canada and the US at Charlotte’s own renowned McColl Center for Art + Innovation.

How did you begin to work with ceramics? 

While my degrees are in Painting and Art History, I took ceramics classes during college which sparked my interest in working in 3-D. After college, I continued to take ceramics classes then began teaching ceramics at art centers and at the college level. 

What is your biggest inspiration as an artist?          

Nature and Art History. My studio is filled with photographs of nature and images from my travels. I have traveled to over 25 countries and have been fortunate to see all different types of artwork.

Allison’s home studio

Which artists influence your work the most?

After studying abroad in Italy and teaching as Guest Faculty for Gordon College in Orvieto, Italy, I find that I am most influences by Italian artists. I am drawn to artists such as Caravaggio, Bernini and Artemesia Gentileschi. In the contemporary realm I am inspired by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Petah Coyne, & Kiki Smith.

Disquisition, Ancient Expanse installation, ANFA

You have a slightly different technique than traditional ceramicists — describe your process.

Since I come from a painting background, I love to layer colors in my ceramic work. I shy away from traditional glazes focusing instead on oxides, underglazes, paints & stains. I usually fire my pieces at least twice in order to layer oxides and underglazes.

Do you have a favorite work (installation, painting, or other) that you have ever created?

I was pleased with my installation at The Mint Museum in the 80 x 80 Exhibition in 2016. That was an exciting show to participate in. 

Ancient Expanse installation, Mint Museum, 80×80 exhibition

If you could go to dinner with one artist (alive or dead) who would it be? Where would you take them?

Bernini. Any restaurant in Rome. I am fascinated with his artwork and have made a point of trying to see most of his sculptures in Rome. I am getting closer. I have mapped them out and go from church to church and museum to museum trying to see them all. My favorite is The Ecstasy of St. Teresa in Santa Maria della Vittoria in Rome. I have visited this particular sculpture at least 10 times.

The Ecstasy of St Teresa by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Santa Maria ...
The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, Bernini

What are you currently listening to?

I actually listen to a lot of Italian Pop to try to keep up my study of Italian. I love artists like Annalisa, Francesca Michielin, Francesco Regna, Lorenzo Fragola, etc…

Favorite drink when you’re on the boat?     

Cosmopolitan

Are there any books or podcasts that you highly recommend?

Podcasts: Makers & Mystics from The Breath & The Clay. I read Sculpture magazine and IMAGE Journal. I listen to art/ history documentaries while working in my studio.

With our theme of WARM WATERS.. if you could be anywhere right now, what is your dream trip?      

My husband and I were planning on taking a month long trip to Asia in 2021. Hopefully we will still be able to go!

Close detail of Luce’s fired clay, oxides, + mixed media pieces

“’Ancient Expanse’ explores the boundaries between perception, reality, time and space. The colors and patterns of the individual sculptures reference ocean life as well as textures found in nature. ‘Ancient Expanse’ is playful and engaging and causes the viewer to stop and think about what they are seeing. There is an element of surprise as people realize that they are not actually looking at real objects, but sculptural forms that reference nature. It blends the natural with an element
of discovery that engages the community in a dialogue about perception and reality.”

Allison Luce

Allison’s ‘Ancient Expanse’ installations are available for site specific install. Also available are small shadow boxes and individual ceramic pieces. Stop by the gallery to see her work in person.

Logan Sutton, Gallery Curator

Categorized:

Warm Waters: Jonathan Smith

May 24, 20

Jonathan Smith is one of ANFA’s newest artists for our current exhibition, WARM WATERS. He is an award winning film photographer originally from the UK and currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. We are more than thrilled to have him as a new addition to our roster.

How did you become ‘exposed’ to photography and what made you want to pursue it as a career?

I was lucky enough to have had an amazing high school art teacher who brought in his own darkroom equipment in and encouraged everyone in the art department to have a go at developing and printing. I was hooked immediately and spent far too much of my time in there when I should have been studying for other exams. I soon set up a dark room of my own in the basement which was leaky and definitely not up to code. One of the earliest photography books I remember seeing that blew my mind was William Klein’s, “New York 1954-55.”  It’s an early street photography book that breaks many rules with cropping, grainy printing, out of focus subjects, off kilter angles, crazy street characters—it really opened my eyes to photography as an art form, and also was one of the reasons that I dreamed of living in New York City. To be honest, I never really thought of photography as a career, which may sound strange. I just had a desire to throw myself into it and see where it would take me.

Yachts from Monte Solaro, Jonathan Smith, 49×57 in gallery

What is your biggest inspiration as an artist and what photographers are you most influenced by?

Many years ago, when I first came to NY, I was about to start school at the International Center of Photography (ICP). I was wandering around Soho with my camera and at that time I had a tiny portfolio of my work that I carried around with me. I spotted out the corner of my eye a slender bald guy taking pictures with a Leica camera. I instantly knew it was Joel Meyerowitz, a photographer who I admired and had read about in the UK. I couldn’t believe my luck. I was having one of those rare moments in life,  and I knew it meant something, so I followed him into Dean & DeLuca (a gourmet grocery) and plucked up the courage to go up to him and introduce myself and show him my portfolio. To this day I’m so glad that I did that. Long story short is that I ended up working for him and running his archive for almost 8 years. He had a profound impact on my early work and was incredibly enthusiastic about my projects. He allowed me to take time off to develop my work and ultimately to start my own studio practice. He was definitely the biggest inspiration to me in my formative years, and we continue to be in touch to this day. Other photographers who I would say had an impact on my work early on were landscape photographers such as Joel Sternfeld, Steven Shore, Richard Misrach as well as more classical black and white photographers such as Cartier Bresson and Walker Evans.

Stream #43, Jonathan Smith, available upon request

You shoot your images mostly in a 4×5″ large format camera. What is it about photographing in large format that you are connected to?

When I first started shooting with the 4×5” film camera I was really blown away by the quality of the large scale prints I was able create without losing any detail. Once I saw the nuance of color and clarity that’s possible with a large format camera, I was totally seduced. I really love that when you are using a camera like this, considering that it is quite heavy and unwieldy, you’re forced to slow down and take your time with each and every exposure. It makes you really look at the scene in-front of you and ask yourself what, why and how you are going to take that shot – as you only have one, or perhaps two to take. You don’t want to make mistakes. It makes you really disciplined and hyper-aware of what you are doing, It’s a heightened experience in that sense. Digital has improved in leaps and bounds over the last few years and I’ve finally invested in a 100-megapixel camera that I’m also using. To be honest, it is also mind blowing in detail, so for the moment I’m bouncing back between formats and enjoying that process. Regardless, I think the discipline that I learned from the 4×5 will always remain.

“By choosing to use a large format camera, which is a heavy and somewhat
unwieldy machine, I am able to observe the landscape at a much slower pace. In doing so, the moments when I choose to release the shutter have become ones where I find that all elements have synthesized into place in the frame. The photograph has thus become quite deliberate and thought out, allowing me to feel immersed within the scene around me rather than taking a snapshot from the sidelines.”
– Jonathan Smith, East/West series statement

Punta Faraglioni, Capri, Jonathan Smith, available upon request

Do you have a favorite photo you’ve ever shot? If so, what is it?

It’s so hard to pick a favorite. I used to be so much more precious about one single shot being my best. I remember about 20 years ago shooting a street scene in Italy where there were elements that lined up so perfectly; geometric patterns and shapes that echoed through the frame along with the serendipity of a moment that was gone in a flash, that I thought myself very clever and then wondered how I would ever beat it. I think one thing I’ve learned slowly over the years, though, is that there isn’t that single shot or single moment that is the pinnacle. Rather, it is about developing an eye over time, and finding new and surprising avenues of interest that perhaps wouldn’t have been sparked if you hadn’t first made the 1000 mistakes prior to arriving there. 

If you could go to dinner with one artist/photographer (alive or dead) who would it be? Where would you take them?

Well I could say Warhol. I’ve found him fascinating forever, but that would be too easy. There was a photographer in New York called Garry Winogrand who was long dead before I’d ever heard of him, but he was friends with my mentor Joel Meyerowitz in the early sixties. I heard so many stories about Garry that I felt like I’d known him myself. Garry was a chain-smoking New Yorker; born in the Bronx. He was a working-class guy who knew how to hustle and didn’t mince his words. He shot anything and everything that he came across, both for work and for pleasure (google him, his work is amazing). His photography was almost obsessive in nature and has amazing breadth. When he died, they found thousands upon thousands of undeveloped rolls of film in this archive because he could never catch up with developing it all. I think he was probably a bit of a mess on a day to day basis, but I’d have loved to have sat down with him and heard some of his stories.  I imagine it would have been in a diner either in midtown or the upper westside of Manhattan… and preferably with a 60’s or 70’s NYC backdrop.

Garry Winogrand | Fraenkel Gallery
photo by Garry Winogrand (courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery)

What are you currently listening to?

I’m editing away on new works from my last residency in Iceland and still have my Iceland road-trip playlist playing music of the time – Olafur Arnalds, an Icelandic musician, features heavily on it, I find it a joy to edit to.  Re:Member is a favorite album.

Olafur Arnalds - re:member - Amazon.com Music
Olafur Arnalds, Re:Member

Favorite cocktail?

Most things! But a spicy Margarita on a hot summer day would hit the mark. To be honest I’d love any cocktail right about now, shared with friends outdoors somewhere – I’m dreaming of when we can all do that again here in NYC.

Are there any books or podcasts that you highly recommend?

I planned to read a lot during lockdown, and even bought a new Kindle Paperwhite, but it hasn’t happened that way! I recently reread sections of “The Power of Now” which has been very helpful during these trying times, and finally read Anthony Bourdain’s “Kitchen Confidential” last summer, which is a wonderful read about the inner workings of the restaurant industry and Bourdain’s crazy life there. I really miss NY restaurants; I can’t wait to go and eat out again.

With our theme of WARM WATERS.. if you could be anywhere right now, what is your dream trip? 

Well, where to start, I was supposed to be in Australia and New Zealand through April, so I have been dreaming about that trip nonstop. I also had tentative plans to return to the Amalfi coast this summer to continue projects there. It really is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to, the light the water, the food… what can I say… 2021 will be catch-up time.

Fall #10, Jonathan Smith, available upon request

Jonathan’s work can be viewed here or by stopping in the gallery. Any of his work is available even if not in the gallery— contact us for more information.

Logan Sutton, Gallery Curator
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Artist Spotlight: our very own, Anne Neilson

Apr 9, 20

If you haven’t already, meet Anne Neilson, owner of ANFA, artist, author, and philanthropist. She is dedicated to making ANFA a lighthouse in the community by giving back through art. She paints with both passion and purpose.

Where does the inspiration from your Angels come from?

“Over 19 years ago when I picked my brushes up and started painting in oils, I wanted to paint something that reflected my faith.  I experimented with all kinds of subjects (crosses) – and came up with my first angel – very colorful with lots of texture (experimenting with a pallet knife)  I sent a picture to my sister asking her thoughts.  Her reply was “You have found your voice” which has turned out to be my life song as I have painted these ethereal beings sculpted out of oil paints in hopes that they bring peace and hope to the collectors.”

Hold onto Hope, 8×12, Hebrews 10-23, oil on canvas

What keeps you inspired to create? 

“Other creative people and the world in which we live in.  To see a sunset — or a tree and the different color of green on the leaves.  I know I am crazy — but when I look at God’s creation whether a sunset or the way the light hits the surf and the sand — I start thinking in my mind the different ways to mix and create those colors.  Another thing that keeps me inspired are people.  Their stories that are shared from my paintings — especially the angels.  I hear from so many people how these paintings have ministered to them in times of sorrow, joy, crisis, or just the fact that the art (angels) ‘moved them’  to tears.”

In these difficult and vulnerable times, what message do you have for our community?  

“In these uncertain times, for our health and our economy, I believe that we must not turn our eyes onto the situation but fix our eyes on the great Creator and His promises and truths. I am an artist and I love to create beauty.  But I know that my Creator is the master artist himself and he will bring beauty from these ashes (COVID-19).  I am praying that everyone at ANFA would continue to be a light in the midst of this craziness and that our art will continue to bless many not only in our community but beyond.”

Anne mixing colors in the studio

During this time of social distancing, what book or movie would you recommend to our readers?

“Even though I have written two books and have another published devotional due out this fall — I am not much a reader… BUT that could change with all the “stay home” orders!  Movies I love and could watch movies over and over…one to watch — Little Women.  I have seen this movie now 3 times. Having 3 daughters, it is the most precious movie about family, sisters, forgiveness, trials, tribulations and the deep desires and talents that God has deposited into each one of us.”

Still from Little Women

To find out more about what inspired Anne’s missions, we at ANFA encourage you to read New York Times Best Seller “Same Kind of Different as Me”, written by renowned Art Dealer Ron Hall. You can also watch the documentary on Netflix.

What are you listening to these days?

“I absolutely love listening to any kind of praise music…Bethel, Elevation Worship, For King and Country, K-Love radio — anything that brings God’s truth through the airwaves… especially now.  If you listen to the words of these songs — it will be such peace for your soul.”

Other than art, what is your favorite hobby? 

“Traveling.   Oh how I love to travel (especially with my family)  and I am praying that our world will get back to normal soon.  In the meantime, I will be getting a lot of painting done, a little writing, and some much home time with my wonderful family!”

In Bloom, 6×6, oil on panel

If you could have dinner with any living or diseased artist, who would it be?  And where would you take them for dinner? 

“Michelangelo — at my home.  I love to entertain and would put on a great dinner party for him.  I am fascinated by his works — on a family trip we toured the Sistine Chapel — no words.  Just incredible.”

How have you been spending your time during these past few weeks of social distancing and staying at home? 

“Honestly, I wish I could say I am getting a lot done such as cleaning out closets etc.  And I don’t want to whine about this — but we are in the midst of a messy renovation (which included no kitchen)…so, I really can’t clean out closets or drawers or anything except stare at my piles randomly placed in random rooms.  It’s a mess but I am trying to find messages within the mess.  I am trying to find peace in the midst of chaos.  And it is somewhat of a parallel of what our world is going through right now.  So, I do the best I can with six adults now under one roof (without a kitchen) and finding silver linings along the way.  I do slip out every once in a while to my studio to paint, and that always brings me peace in the midst. “

Redeeming Love, 10×8, John 3-16, oil on canvas

How are you, ANFA, and ANH giving back to the community to support those direly affected by COVID-19 in any way? 

“My calling and mission is still the same.  19 years ago when my painting was a hobby, raising my 4 kiddos, volunteering at the local homeless shelter — I left the homeless shelter asking myself – HOW am I going to do all this.  Be a good wife.  A good mom.  My passion was to paint. My heart wanted to serve our community.  How was I going to do it ALL.  I clearly heard a whisper in my spirit to “paint and give back” and that was the start of this incredible journey.  Today it remains the same.  Art will never die — art is a necessity.  I love the quote from Pablo Picasso – “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”.  Art is unique.  It brings people together.  It brings healing to the soul.  We will continue to use art at ANFA (we have some amazing artists) to minister and give back to those affected by the COVID-19 crisis, mainly focusing on children who have been affected.  Daily, we will rely on our GOD who will supply all our needs according to His riches in Jesus Christ.”

What is the overall message you hope that people receive when contemplating your art? 

“This is the message that goes on every Angel painting:  The angel series began on a piece of paper as sketches reflecting my faith and evolved onto the canvas as ethereal abstract beings sculpted out of oil paint.  Much like our lives, which start out as a blank canvas, we face trials and tribulations on the journey of life.  Through these experiences, whether joyful or difficult, God adds color and texture along our paths to create a beautiful masterpiece.  My prayer is that the art born in my studio will always be a beautiful reminder for you and your home and life that God is our creator and the fulfiller of His promises to you.”

You can learn more about Anne Neilson’s books and products inspired by her original paintings by visiting www.anneneilsonhome.com or following @anneneilsonhome on Instagram. Continue along with us to to further find out how ANFA loves to use art in order to better the community, Charlotte and further.

Logan Sutton, Gallery Coordinator
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Artist Spotlight: Marcy Gregg

Mar 31, 20

Marcy Gregg is an incredibly gifted artist with an incredibly unique and inspiring story. She has been an integral part of ANFA, consistently bringing us her hard work and determination since we have been open. A local artist originally from Texas, her studio is nestled in Dilworth Artisan Station right here in Charlotte, NC. We are highlighting her this week not only for her dynamic abstracts and beautiful color palettes, but also for her consistently positive + faithful outlook.

Marcy mixing colors in her Charlotte studio

You begin every canvas by writing a scripture in red. Can you tell us a little about your process? Are your color palettes inspired by the scripture or do those come more intuitively? 

“It’s true, I begin every piece with a Bible verse. The verse is usually something that specifically speaks to me during my morning quiet time. Once it’s written across the entire canvas, I begin choosing the colors. Color excites me as an artist, and I just choose intuitively; mixing my palette as I go along.”

What keeps you inspired to create?

“I am inspired by color, shapes and lines that I see all around me. I also listen to music when painting. Music always inspires me.”

Marcy in front of Loyal Love, 60×48

There are so many layers to your work. How do you know when a piece is finished? That is always tricky. When do you walk away? 

“When I began to feel that I am finished I will set the work aside for several days…even a week or two.  Then I put the painting back on the easel. If at that point it feels done… I sign it.”

Do you have an all time favorite piece? If so, which one and why do you gravitate towards it? 

“I do. It’s actually in the foyer of my home.  It is the colors of the large 60×60 painting, “Happy Song” that make me smile. I just couldn’t sell that one.”

Marcy’s favorite piece hanging in the foyer of her home

How do you feel about commissions?

“Commissions are an exciting and welcomed challenge. I always appreciate the opportunity to create for someone or some place specifically.”

During this time of social distancing, what book or movie would you recommend to our readers?

“The book, God is Able by Priscilla Shirer. It is a great read!”

Other than art, what is your favorite hobby?

“I enjoy my mornings at the gym, and when I get the opportunity, I love to travel.”

If you could have dinner with any living or deceased artist, who would it be? Where would you take them?

“I would love to have dinner with Paul Cezanne. I would ask him to take me to his hometown of Aix-en-Provence, and there we talk about all that we have talked about today…his color palette, his inspiration, his favorite piece, and how he knew a painting was finished. That dinner would be amazing!”

Cezanne’s studio in Aix-en-Provence that you can visit today – Marcy has been!

In November we showcased your new body of work in Standing Still. In addition to your abstracts, you created very Cezanne inspired still lifes. Viewers were in love with the unique perspectives and bold color palettes.  What can we expect to see next from Marcy Gregg?

“Since I will be out of my studio with the recent ‘Stay at Home’ order issued, I will begin a new series of small gouache on paper paintings. No large oil paintings done in my townhome!”

.None to Compare, Marcy Gregg, 5.5×9, gouache on paper

Follow Marcy on Instagram and stay tuned to see the new gouache paintings she is going to be creating while the “Stay at Home” order is in effect.

—Logan Sutton, Gallery Coordinator

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Artist Spotlight: Case Baumgarten

Mar 20, 20

Case Baumgarten is ANFA’s newest emerging artist. He returned back to his native home of Charlotte after receiving a BFA from the prestigious Corcoran College of Art + Design in Washington, D.C. in 2018. We asked him to be a part of our Black X White exhibition in January 2020 as a guest artist – people were so enamored with his dynamic and textural artwork that we knew we had to keep him on our roster.

Case Baumgarten, Neon Highway, 36×36, SOLD

You are our newest emerging artist and you showcase talent that is seemingly way beyond your years. Tell us a little about your artistic journey so far.

“Growing up in a household that encouraged creation and imagination had a major impact on who and what kind of artist I am today. It was a privilege to not really have to worry about what I was going to do after college. My career path was slow, to begin with, but my hunger for creativity will lead me in the right direction for the future.”

Describe your aesthetic in three words.

“Story, Blip, Connection”

Case Baumgarten, A Blip from Him, 69×34

What are you currently listening to?

“I mostly keep it quiet while working, ambient noise can be interesting if you have a second to really listen.”

What keeps you inspired?

“Other artists for sure, but for my more serious work I pull a lot from memories.”

You use many different mediums which I believe adds such a beautiful depth to your work. Can you explain a little bit about your process?

“As a young artist within our educational system, there were moments where thinking on your feet became the only financially applicable option. A lot of times, this when you start using materials you wouldn’t have thought about, using motor oil as paint or a mop as a brush, scavenging any kind of materials. Experimenting is how you push your work forward, finding out what works for you and what doesn’t.”

You work in both 2D and 3D, which we can’t wait to begin showcasing more of your 3D work. Do you have a preference of which to work in?

“I find it important to work in both mediums simultaneously. Each medium can play an important part in the other. Training your imagination to have multiple viewpoints when only working on just one piece.”

Case Baumgarten, in front of his series “Moon Daisies” about homelessness.

How do you know when a piece is finished?

“When I start to find excuses to paint on a certain piece, that’s an important indicator the work is done or close to being finished.”

What period of art history or which artists have the most influence on your work? If you could have dinner with any famous artist, who would it be and why?

“I would say the Contemporary Art movement now has the most influence in my work. There are so many talented artists out in the world and are easily visible thanks to social media. It’s easy to login to Instagram or Facebook and see an awesomely stunning work one after another…

Sitting down with Lee Krasner would be a joy for me. I wouldn’t ask much of anything, but maybe I’d ask if she was the real embodiment of her husband’s work. “

If you could recommend one book or movie, what would it be? It doesn’t have to be art-related. 

“Between The World And Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates”

If any, what message do you wish viewers receive from your art?

“When referring to my more serious work, I hope people understand when looking at these pieces – that everyone has a story, that people have experiences you do not and vice versa. Just for my audience to acknowledge that would be satisfying enough. “

Where do you see yourself & your art in the next 5 years?

“Hopefully chasing some of the bigger galleries around the world. I think being around other artists with enormous talent such as theirs, would only encourage me to keep pushing and looking for that new Ah-Ha moment.”

Case Baumgarten, Premonition, 69×36

Case’s career is only at its beginning. Stay tuned for more from him in the coming year at ANFA. His name is one you won’t want to forget…

—Logan Sutton, Gallery Coordinator

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‘Tis the Season for Art

Dec 13, 19

Oh, what fun it is to collect and give art! With the holiday season in full swing, check out our on theme winter works that are perfect for this time of year! We have quite a collection of cheery and bright that is superb for any holiday gift for that special someone!

Get Ya Some“, 4 x 12, Heather Blanton, Currently Available at ANFA Gallery.
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