Multi-faceted artist Ann Watcher will be featured at the Seabrook Island Artists Guild meeting in the Live Oak Room at The Lake House, November 16, 1:30 pm.
Ann explores a wide range of subject matter in her art, believing that it is not the subject matter that defines her art but the expression of it, the play of light, active compositions and bold color choices. She blends an Impressionistic approach with touches of abstraction. When painting figuratively, Ann seeks to capture the essence of the person through expression, posture and setting. When painting landscape, Ann often develops the painting through several layers, starting with a gestural, wet on wet approach and adding layers through techniques such as dry brush and scumbling. Composition and mood, such as the soft light at the end of the day, inform her work as she tries to create a visual experience for the viewer.
“I paint in a modern way, always seeking to give my art a different interpretation; I approach my subject matter in search of unusual angles and light as well as other details the average passerby could easily overlook.”
Ann points to master painters Henri Matisse and Pierre Bonnard as sources of inspiration for her artistic style, also acknowledging Mary Cassatt and the influence Cassatt’s body of work has had on Ann’s personal approach to her portraits of children.
Her creative process is fluid; as the artist explains, “I rarely know what each of my paintings will look like until I have completed each individual work.” This organic approach to the canvas allows Watcher to simultaneously appreciate the inherit qualities of her chosen media while remaining free to adapt her technique in order to truly capture her subject matter without being hindered by any preconceived conceptions.
Working primarily in oils, Ann prepares the canvas by painting a scrub-in layer initially, then adding in layers to build up the final image. To complete her paintings, she uses thin layers of glaze or, if a more textured surface is desired, Watcher applies cold wax, a medium that can literally be scraped into, giving Ann the ability to further build up the layers that make up her artworks.
Ann received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of South Carolina. While there, she did an internship at the Corcoran Museum of Art in Washington, DC and has also studied at the New York Studio School. Most recently, Ann studied with nationally recognized artist, Andrew Braitman in Charlotte, NC. In 2015, her painting “Channeling Edith Wharton” was selected “Best of Show” at the Art League of Hilton Head Biennale National Juried Show. Ann is honored that Art in Embassies, a division of the U.S. State Department contacted her to loan two paintings for an exhibit on southern women artists in the residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Bahrain.
Additionally, several of her paintings have been juried into national shows, including Women Painters of the Southeast Annual Members Show, American Women Artists Online National Juried Show, and Carolina’s Got Art! Salon Show. Her painting “Greenville Road in Blue” was commissioned by Duke University Medical Pavilion in Raleigh, NC. Showtime’s “Homeland” chose two of Ann’s paintings to use in season three.
Returning to her native South, Watcher now lives and has a studio in Matthews, North Carolina. Ann is constantly traveling across the Carolinas, often painting in plein air.
Ann will be demoing figurative painting at our November meeting.
For more information on the Guild’s events, workshops, and membership, visit www.seabrookislandartistguild.com.
-Submitted by Sharon Peck
(Image credit: Seabrook Island Artists Guild)