A Conversation with Artist Anne Stine by Lisa Strout

How did you get started making art?

                       As a child, I painted as easily as breathing or skipping down the sidewalk. It just was a natural part of me. I was the kid signing up for every art class and workshop I could find. Later, I continued to pursue art instruction from master painters in college and beyond. For many years, I enjoyed a successful business career in arts marketing, but it wasn’t until I began a family did I pursue painting full time as an artist. I painted murals in homes and businesses for 15 years until three years ago I ventured into creating my own work.

Where did you grow up? How does that inform your work?

            I grew up in the same farmhouse where my father was raised in Fairfax, Virginia. Our three-acre property was a natural haven tucked away in a sprawling suburban landscape. My childhood days were spent playing in nearby creeks. Climbing pine trees. Making friends with little creatures. I capture this childlike wonder of the natural world in my art, inviting the viewer to escape the day to day and meditate on the vibrant color and the varied textures seen outside. Whether it’s of a feisty crow or a pastoral landscape, each painting is inspired by my love and awe of nature I hold deep in my heart.

 

Describe your work in general and the encaustic process.

I believe in embracing the unpredictable and taking creative risks. That's probably why I work in encaustic wax made from a  mixture of beeswax, resin and pigment.

When heated at a high temperature, encaustic flows like honey and moves in unexpected ways. I’m able to guide it along using torches and hot guns. I can sculpt into the surface and embed objects when the wax is still warm.  Once the heat is removed, it cools almost immediately leaving a solid surface with a beautiful sheen. Oil sticks, pastels, and pigmented shellac add even more color until the final painting holds up to twenty different layers each visible through one another. Cradled wood panels are the perfect foundation for my work because they can hold up to the rigorous manipulation of the medium and they are porous enough to securely hold the wax in place. Here’s a short video showing my process https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZUE-I3Fkdk.

I guess it’s the “not knowing what will happen next” that keeps me coming back and pushing the limits of this unpredictable medium. Now you know why my husband insists I have a GARAGE studio!

 

How do you choose your subject matter/ what inspires you?

         My inspiration is as close as outside my front door. I’m blessed to live in beautiful Western Loudoun County teaming with breathtaking scenery. My favorite pastime is hauling all the kids out on nature hikes in the local area to rekindle my creative spirit. Whenever I travel out of town, I make the time to personally experience the landscape and take photographs with my phone or camera to take back to the studio. I recently wrote a article about this process on my blog http://www.annestinepainting.com/blog/creative-inspiration-waits-outside-your-door/.

 

What are you working on now?

As a mixed media artist, I'm always on the lookout for a new medium to play with. My latest obsession is cold wax mixed with oils and applied with a palette knife.  This media is allowing me to express a deep moody feeling in my paintings, especially with my ocean scenes. But I do miss the torch.

 

I participate in the Western Loudoun Artist Studio Tour (WLAST) held June 3 and 4, so I’m busy making a large assortment of mixed media paintings in a variety of sizes.

 

What 2 artists (living or dead) inspire you? Why?

When I was beginning my investigation of encaustics, I discovered two women artists whose work with the medium is very inspiring to me. Robin Luciano Beaty and Alicia Tormey paint natural themes with a contemporary edge. I love how Robin embeds organic materials into the wax and sculpts the surface for interesting textures. Alicia’s use of color is outstanding in her landscapes and floral paintings. I have to add Claude Monet as well -- my hero! You can see his influence in my pond paintings hanging at Tryst right now. I love his use of color.

 

What is your favorite color?

I don’t understand the question. People have a favorite color?

What are you reading?

“When in French: Love in Second Language”” by Laura Collins. I am a huge Francophile! The book is her story about living in Geneva without speaking the language and how her life is completely changed as a result. I would love to live in France one day, but my French stinks.

 

If you could invite any 2 people (living or dead) to coffee who would they be? Why?

Without hesitation -- my mother. She’s been gone 11 years now and I miss our coffee chats and how she made me laugh. Then, I would invite Betty White to join us (who is the spitting-image of my mother) and we would joke and laugh until Starbucks kicked us out. 

What do you want people to know about you that isn't art related.

It's a passion of mine to help people caring for their parents. I know the struggle and challenges of such an awesome responsibility firsthand while caring for my father for six years before his passing from dementia. During that time, I helped create a ministry for caregivers of aging parents in Leesburg. Several years later, I helped establish a ministry devoted to helping seniors in need in the Purcellville area. I believe that seniors and their caregivers need to be appreciated and supported.

 

Where can we see more of your art?

Www.annestinepainting.com

Www.facebook.com/annestinestudio

Www.twitter.com/@AnneStine3

Www.instagram.com/annestinepainting

Purcellville studio by appointment

703-431-7152