I've had my eye on UK artist Anna Wilson-Patterson for a while. Her art speaks to me for many reasons; the blues, the hounds, the small-town life she celebrates. But what I think is most profound, and what I study when consider her art or visit her blog, is the sense of place she creates.
She lives in the village of Herstmonceux on the southeast coast of England. Many of her pieces depict the beaches of Sussex, but they also evoke the beaches in my mind's eye, the ones of childhood vacations and future adventures. Like the concept of terroir, that specificity of soil can distinguish a wine, I believe a sense of place can make a good painting great. I see it in the works of the most accomplished artists of Nevada County, where I live, and I see it in Anna Wilson-Patterson's work.
Often, when I am doing my own art or writing about others, it's all about the dogs. But, I know of several dog artists who have given up painting pet portraits because it has become to rote and too painful to disappoint clients. What I want to share through Anna Wilson-Patterson's work is to think about coming at dogs from a different perspective. She comes at dogs through village life, through the mist rolling in, through an abandoned shanty at low tide, and light coming from a certain window, and that, along with her sizeable talent elevates her work. And that is why I've had my eye on her since I first discovered her over a year ago.
As I said in Friday's post, try going outside. I am experimenting with such a crazy idea myself and finding it difficult to break away from my computer screen and my arty paraphernalia. But, I am doing it, and I want to offer that experiment to you. As always, let me know how it goes.
If you live in Sussex you have a rare opportunity to visit Anna Wilson-Patterson's studio (she lives in a former candy factory - how cool is that?) during her Huts and Hounds Studio Tour, June 1 - June 16, 2012.
Speaking of a sense of place, Anna has a terrific video of her studio featuring her dogs Bea and Finn...