Click here to learn more about Anna’s new instructional video “Creating Vibrant Skin Tones”

Click here to watch a preview of Anna’s new video

What motivates you to paint?
I have a deep love for beauty and a desire to capture it from my unique perspective. Painting grounds me and brings me immense fulfillment, especially as I’ve used it to document my life and journey as an artist and, more recently, the life of my baby girl.

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How do you balance family life and art?
I fit in painting whenever possible. I attend weekly figure painting groups, and paint in my studio during my daughter’s naps. She goes to a daycare program two days a week (and loves it!), which frees up some solid chunks of time. And my husband knows that if I don’t get to paint at least a few days per week, I won’t be much fun! :-) Mostly I take it one day at a time and try to pare down time wasters (like TV or social media), so I have more time to paint.


 Who influences your work?
Because I am a portrait artist I gravitate towards figurative painters both past and present. I am constantly inspired by the works of Sargent and Sorolla, as well as some of the Renaissance and Baroque painters, but I also learn a great deal from the incredible work that is being done by contemporary masters such as Jeremy Lipking, Dan Gerhartz, Quang Ho, Nancy Guzik, and Rose Frantzen.

What painting tool can you not live without?
I would end up throwing away lots of paint if it weren’t for my trusty metal “tube wringer.” That thing squeezes every last drop of paint out of the tube. I also use it to squeeze out the last bit of toothpaste…

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What do you want to instill in your students?
I want my students to develop confidence in their abilities by giving them simple, practical solutions for overcoming fear and doubt. I do this by walking them through my own thought process from the start of the painting to the finish. Solutions can be as simple as toning a canvas to get rid of the “big scary white,” or blocking in a portrait with vine charcoal instead of paint. 

What has been your greatest thrill as an artist?

My biggest breakthrough as an artist came when I discovered alla prima, after years of doing traditional, indirect painting. I took an alla prima portrait workshop with Clayton J. Beck, III and discovered that I could express so much more and paint more quickly AND more accurately by being completely intentional with every brushstroke. After that, my work improved exponentially and I realized more clearly where I wanted to go with my art.

What has been your greatest disappointment as an artist?

My biggest disappointment as an artist… well, I think we all go through ups and downs in our creative journey and have periodic bouts of “artist block.” But I don’t think I’ve ever experienced terrible disappointment, unless not getting accepted into several prestigious juried shows counts for that. I love painting so much that even when it’s painful and difficult – as in, when I have a commission I’m struggling with or a painting that just isn’t going my way — it doesn’t matter in light of the fact that I get to paint every day and live out my calling. No disappointment can ever match up to the joy that I have in being an artist and making a living at it.

What would you like the viewers of your video to know?
My video focuses on painting skin tones (which is, hands down, the most asked about topic in my painting classes), but I want my viewers to know that there is a hierarchy of importance in portraiture. Skin tones are at the bottom of the totem pole underneath (1) drawing and (2) values. Keep working to master those two things and color will soon follow. 

Click here to order Anna’s new instructional video “Creating Vibrant Skin Tones”