Anne Corlett is artist's artist. She is a painter that has a way of approaching her subject and being able to strike right at the heart of the matter. Whether it is a figure or the landscape she is able to cut right to the chase and state what is absolutely necessary and not much more. That is the essence of good storytelling. Anne is indeed a novelist when it comes to paint.
Years of working with soft pastels has given her a strong and unique handle on her use of color, and it has served her well as she has begun spending more and more time at the end of a paintbrush. Her immediacy is instantly identifiable.
Anne also just happens to be the Gold Frame Award winner in the premier ArtisTTable exhibition, Lets Get Acquainted!. Be sure and look through that show when you get a chance.
I am pretty much of the mind that regardless of an artist's education, when it comes down to it we are all pretty much self taught. That said, what sort of art education do you have?
I majored in art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I have taken continuing Ed at various institutions, including: The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Royal Academy of Art in London.
How did what you learned in school prepare you for the type of work that you are producing now?
Maybe the most important thing I learned in school was to take myself seriously as an artist.
Wind on the Kalamazoo 24" X 36" (61 x 91.5cm)
Oil painting is a relatively new pursuit for you. You have been a pastel artist for years. How have you found the transition from pastel to oils? What about oils called out to you?
The transition from pastels to oils was much more challenging than I expected. I think changing mediums is like picking up a different instrument. You still know how you want the music to sound, but you have to learn a completely new technique to get there.
Oils can have more presence than pastels. They can be huge and they feel more permanent, even though pastels are archival also. Also, the thick, wet paint is so very fun to push around the canvas - a completely different experience!
River Song 10" X 8" (26 X 20cm)
When you work in pastels do you think of it more as a drawing or a painting technique?
Neither. Pastels are just pastels. I think it is odd that they are called "paintings" when they are finished.
Changing Weather 8" X 8" (20 X 20cm)
You have a strong background in drawing and the ability to capture a scene or a figure quickly and accurately. Do you draw other times other than when you are preparing to make a painting?
I try to. I always have a sketchbook nearby. I should draw more. In college I recorded everything around me in simple line drawings; I was drawing all the time.
Second stage of the drawing (with paint) for The Pastor 24" X 36" (61 X 91.5cm)
Your landscape work is what most people that know you are familiar with seeing when they look at your work. And of course you showed everyone around the ArtisTTable that you can paint a chicken pretty well too. You also are pretty handy with the figure as well. What do you find are the similar challenges you face as when you work with the figure or the landscape? Are there similarities? What are the differences?
Recently, I have approached all subject matter the same - as shapes and values that I record as accurately as possible. For me, the drawing is key and I draw with paint over and over again, until I get it right. This is especially true of the figure, as there is no "cheating" on a subject like that. Then I move in with colors. If the drawing is strong, I can be more free with the brush strokes.
The Pastor 24" X 36" (61 X 91.5cm)
You also are an amazing colorist, talk about how you approach color when you work.
Thank you. I never had color theory in school but I have always loved color. It is just recently that I have begun to understand how to mix colors in oil (after four years of practice and some excellent instruction). In pastel they are mixed for you. I am most concerned with value when I paint and I tend to paint from darkest to lightest value, with the actual color choice being secondary.
Who were some of your earliest artistic influences?
Matisse has always been a favorite of mine. I love his simple drawings and his straightforward color. In the recent past I have fallen for the Canada Seven. Some of their landscapes blow my mind.
Clouds 16" X 12" (41 X 30.5cm)
What are you working on right now in your studio?
I just started a 24x36 landscape, working from a pastel I did on location. I think the energy in it is good. It may already be finished.
I know you wanted 10 questions, but I thought I would keep you slightly off balance with only 9 for now.
Okay but I came to a realization recently. I think life consists of energy and one's quality of life depends on what one does with the energy available to them. Painting is one way to leash that energy and spend just a little bit.
Untitled so far) 36" X 24" (91.5 X 61cm)