Anita Mosher is my featured artist today! Love her art and her story!
Who ART You?
How did you grow up? I grew up in a home where my mother was an accomplished artist and maintained a working studio her entire life. My earliest memories of her studio where her beautiful portrait and figure life drawings in pastel. Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas were her favorite painters. Mother was the “picture lady” at my grade school. Once a month she brought in art prints and discussed art history, different styles, techniques and interpretation. Mother also would rent paintings through our local library and hang them on the wall for month at a time. Wouldn’t that be great if libraries still did that?
My maternal grandmother was also an artist. I have two oil paintings that my grandmother painted a century ago that I treasure. My father worked for TWA and we traveled extensively. Wherever we were flew, my parents took me to art museums in every city/country we visited. I was exposed to many different art styles and mediums during my childhood. Art was deeply incorporated as a part of my everyday life.
I became an artist because...... Creating art is all I ever wanted to do. I have a photo of myself at 3 years old in front of my first chalkboard drawings with a huge smile on my face. My mother put me in my first art classes at the Nelson Art Museum in Kansas City at 6 years old. When I look at the projects I did in those classes, I remember how excited and fulfilled I was creating art. I still feel that way every time I have a paintbrush in my hand.
What brought you to art? I believe that there is a reason we don’t see the world in black and white. Color is vital to our daily lives. I find I express myself best in color and shapes that I can not find words for any other way.
Describe your favorite art piece that you had trouble letting go. It was an oil painting early in my professional career of three small rowboats waiting patiently to transport staff to the big yachts further out in the harbor. The sun was setting, the reflected light off of the water and colors of the worn and well used humble little rowboats caught my eye. When I first sketched this painting in, it hit me that this could be a “museum piece” for me. A term I heard from one of my instructors, meaning a keeper...many artists dream about museum shows during their lifetime. I was really happy with my composition and brushwork in that piece and at that time in my career, not sure that I could ever accomplish that again. I reluctantly sent it to a gallery in Santa Fe, NM that I was showing in at the time and when I heard that it sold I felt great regret. I still do. I don’t know who actually owns the piece or where it ended up.
If you could come back and live as any artist, (alive or dead) who would it be and why? Georgia O’Keefe. O’Keefe lead such an interesting life with her independent spirit, travel, relationships and her dramatic and unique works of art. She was the really the first woman artist to receive complete acceptance from the fine art world. O’Keefe refused to be hemmed in to a certain style or subject matter. She explored realism, abstraction, modernism and surrealism and her entire body of work is appreciated by collectors and museums. I also enjoy exploring different styles and subject matters and relate to her artistic restlessness and wanderlust.
Who, what influences your art? I am inspired by color. I find inspiration everywhere, the color combinations and light on a subject whether I am on a hike and see it on the mountain landscape, a figure walking down the street or an apple on my kitchen counter. Painting is my interpretation of the moment and how I describe it to the viewer.
What has art taught you? Art has taught me to trust and believe in myself and my own intuition and most of all, incredible gratitude for this beautiful, messy world we are privileged to experience. The beauty and complexity of nature and my chance to witness it, remind me to lace up my boots and wander as long as I am able.
Favorite/best resources as an artist? I collect other artists work whom I admire and want to learn from. In addition, I have a large library of art books that I refer to. Instagram and Facebook make it easy to check out what is happening in the art world.
What becomes a magical instrument in your hands? A palette knife is my magical go to tool whether a painting is going well or not. When I get too tight or need textural contrast or interest, my assortment of palette knives changes the visual conversation with just a few strokes.
What medium do you use? Why? I am a dedicated oil painter. Oils suit my personality. Oil paints are the most forgiving, easiest, and sensuous paint. I enjoy painting alla prima, when the entire painting is wet and I can work and blend anywhere.
When I think of art, I ............. I believe that the purpose of art is to enhance the joy of living. My hope is that my collectors find joy every time they look at my work.
How do life, business, creativity and art intersect? Original art hangs in every room of my house, bathrooms and laundry room included. Original art is my source of strength, positively influences my mood and always inspires me. My hikes, travels and personal experiences all center around potential inspiration for future works. The business piece of creating flows from wanting to communicate, interact and share the way I see the world with others. I feel blessed to love what I do and include it in my daily life.
A defining moment in my life is when........... A friend was the first one ask me if she could buy two of my paintings. I am forever grateful and thankful for that first sale!
Best advice I ever got about art or being an artist was........ Even some of the best artists I respect and have had conversations with have times of self doubt and frustration and will scrape off a painting. Their advice is to keep painting. That leads to increased knowledge and skill. Painting is all about solving problems and learning from mistakes. It’s a good metaphor for life.
Do you have a ritual or practice any creative activities that you do before you make art? If so, what is it? Quieting my mind whether thru a hike, meditation or looking at other artists work. There seems to be a lot going on up there some days and I need to slow it down to focus on being present.
Name: Anita Mosher
FB: anita mosher
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