Thursday, March 22, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Annie Strack

#3483, 24" x 14", Watercolor
“I paint the places that I know, places that I love. I want you to step into my paintings and experience these places with me; to feel the sand between their toes as they walk on my sun-warmed beaches, to dive into my paintings and swim in my oceans, to cruise through my paintings on the decks of my boats." ~Annie Strack

Annie Strack is one of the busiest artists I've met, yet.  She teaches workshops, writes for national publications, stars in a TV show, travels extensively, participates regularly in the Lousiana Watercolor Society, is online working her magic and most of all, she is painting constantly.  She dove head first into her full time career as an artist, and it has paid off.

She began professionally painting after earning her first commission on a military base for the wife of an admiral.  After twelve years of part time work and part time painting, Annie moved fully into her career as an artist, realizing that this was the time to do what she really wanted and made a full go of it.  Annie's work is now featured around the country in museums and galleries; her writing for Professional Artist Magazine and her TV show, Painting Seascapes in Watercolor, keep her quite busy when she isn't painting or exhibiting her own work.  Annie also teaches regular workshops for maritime painting, architectural painting and even art marketing.  

Annie is a classically trained artist, raised in Naples, Florida with extensive travel in Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific naturally leading her to create seascape and maritime paintings. Annie's coastal living has allowed her frequent access to the shore lines of the American continent, as well as contacts with the clientele that commissions boat portraits and seascapes and the occasional house portrait, too.   

Summerwind 20" x 24"
Although Annie was trained using other media, she leans towards watercolors, considering the loose style and plein air friendliness for the type of work she creates.  Whether Annie is working in larger color blocks for the beginning of a painting or the smaller details toward the end, she rarely uses a brush smaller than a 1" flat or number 12 round. Annie finds that with a good brush, she can acquire the details she needs even with the larger sizes.  Synthetics, she says, also keep their bounce and spring, giving her the reliability she needs.  A brush needs to hold enough pigment and fluid in order to complete a wash or "moment" in the piece without re-dipping or mixing.  Synthetics, intended to mimic either Kolinskys or squirrel hair, provide her with just the right amount of spring, fluid hold and affordability.

Annie believes in using the right brush, the right materials for her work and has opened the door to try new products if they come her way.  Although there are always those materials that define one's work, the art material's market is constantly improving and building new supplies for making better art.

As with most artists I feature here, I only scratched the surface of Annie's work.  To get to know Annie better, or to attend her workshops check out her blog and website at: www.anniestrackart.com

Or follow her on Twitter: @AnnieStrack

Keep Painting, 
Karyn 

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.