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  • Writer's pictureAnne Smith


This collection has been a Decade in the Making! Ten years ago when I began my journey as a self-taught painter, I dreamed of being able to paint abstracts that were colorful, layered with meaning, and just a delight for the eyes. Believe me when I tell you that abstracts are WAY HARDER THAN THEY LOOK!…Over these past 10 years I’ve been blessed to have a few incredibly talented artists mentor me, guide me and teach me about color, perspective, drawing, composition and freedom found through the creative process. Back then I had no idea what any of that meant!! Deer in headlights. This collection is 10 years worth of learning brought about on the canvas…

I didn’t even know when I began painting again in January after taking off for 2 months if anything was even going to come together in any cohesive way. I started with an emotion: the delight I experience when an eastern bluebird suddenly flutters by on one of my walks. It is PURE JOY that I feel when i see those birds! Does that age me? LOL! Maybe. I don’t care if it does. My sweet Grandma loved watching the birds and now so do I. I wanted to paint that feeling and had no idea how. So, I just simply started by putting washes of color on paper, connecting with color and paint and brush strokes…even drew a couple birds (remember, I would not classify myself as an illustrator)…then, I got stuck.

And I mean S T U C K. It was dead of winter, I had no direction so I got out of my head and away from thinking about having to produce a finished painting, a product to sell. I moved toward my first love in art, that of color. And I studied it. I mean, STUDIED IT. And then I painted what I was learning. And then a friend told me not to give up on my bird inspiration so I took out my artist crayons and got to playing with colors, pattern and drawing simple birds and found myself laughing out loud in my studio at them! And with myself. It was freeing and playful and joyful.

I still didn’t have a direction for a collection. But this is what I did. I kept showing up. Every day. I revisited some lessons on my other first love and dream of being an abstract painter and did some studying and some practices…and then I was ready to move onto the canvas. I taped my birds up all around my studio and started painting them. And then I moved to the canvas and began taking that inspiration to my abstracts. The colors, the emotions and the senses of Spring began to emerge on my canvases and I couldn’t stop.

I went to bed thinking about them…dreamt of them, woke up problem solving some of the parts that were perplexing to me.

And when I finished the very last one, I stepped back, looked at them all together and saw a theme, a common thread, emerge. That of the beginning of Spring and all it entails….you know the saying “in like a lion out like a lamb”….the blues and grays and movement in these abstracts reflect the stormy blustery cold winds of winter’s end that usher in the new season filled with hope…the green reflects all the shades of early Spring as things begin to break free from their winter slumber, the pinks seem to be saying “yes! Warmer days, colors, they are coming!! Don’t lose heart, it’s coming, spring is coming!”

I enjoyed the process of this collection so much as it emerged…I wasn’t worried about it…didn’t try and control it…just let it flow.

This collection has truly been a decade in the making…oh how I envy those who are 2 and 3 decades into their journey! But I will stay and celebrate in this chapter that I’m in. My chapter 10 can’t be someone else’s chapter 20. That would be impossible and I celebrate their chapter 20!

Hope y’all enjoyed getting a little insight into my process for this collection “A Decade in the Making” and I hope you’ll love bringing some of the joy and chaos of Spring into your home and on your walls!

Thanks for reading my longest blog yet, ;)



Anne Temple

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