Anne-Marie is a full-time painter working from her studio in Crouch End, North London. Using a sort of ‘tapestry’ of marks, Anne-Marie hopes to convey the character of different flowers and the unique feeling they can create in a space; the strong structures and often the sheer joyfulness of their appearance. She tries to capture the quiet transitory moments which make any garden space such an oasis of calm, giving us space to contemplate and meditate, and reminding us of our mortality and place in the natural world.
"I love the infinite variety of flowers and plants. All my paintings are an attempt to convey the character of different flowers and the unique feeling they can create in a space; the strong structures and often the sheer joyfulness of their appearance. Winifred Nicholson described flowers as ‘the secret of the cosmos’, and I can understand this desire to connect with their magical, mysterious and timeless presence. In the past few years I have been travelling to many gardens for inspiration, as well as using flowers from my own back yard. I try to capture the quiet transitory moments which make any garden space such an oasis of calm, giving us space to contemplate and meditate, and reminding us of our mortality and place in the natural world.
I hope that my paintings bring this sense of beauty and calm into the homes of the people who buy them. My work combines strong traditional technical skill with quite a modern sensibility and I find they appeal to a wide range of people; working just as well in a simple modern interior as in a period home."
My painting process is very traditional. I use oil paint on linen or canvas. To start, I always apply a coloured ground, Burnt Siena, Cadmium Yellow or sometimes Indigo which gives the painting a mood and a unity from the outset. I also work directly into this wet ‘base’ so that all the colours I apply blend into it, continuing the feeling of cohesion. I often leave little patches of this underlying colour showing through, which gives the painting a sort of glow.
Strong draughtsmanship underpins my work and I always begin by drawing freehand with paint. This ensures an intensity and vigour in the mark-making. Working on a fairly large scale is quite a physical process; I need plenty of energy to keep a steady momentum and to maintain a rhythm in the brushwork.
Having mapped out the entire composition, I begin to carefully mix and add colour, trying to establish a balance of colour and marks all over the canvas. I gradually build up the detail, switching between large and small brushes. I think of the paintings almost as a tapestry of marks, so that I am weaving and stitching with the brush. Square edged brushes give the marks and lines a distinct shape and flow.
At its best, painting becomes a sort of meditation. I become immersed in all the tiny nuances of shape and colour in a patch of stems and leaves, finding a way to translate it into paint. I’ve realised I work most efficiently when I almost switch off my conscious thought and become absorbed in listening to music or the radio.
The challenge is not to over-work. In fact, the key to success in any painting is knowing when to stop; I have to prevent myself from ‘tidying up’ too much. This has become more important as I produce increasingly large canvases. As my interpretation of the flower/garden theme develops, I find that I am more concerned with providing an immersive image for the viewer. The work inevitably becomes more about abstract factors of colour and form.
Anne-Marie has been painting for nearly 30 years and works from her garden studio in North London. She is currently represented by the Thackeray Gallery in London and Brian Sinfield Gallery in Burford. She has work on an on-going basis at Cambridge Contemporary Art, Beside the Wave Gallery and Lighthouse Gallery in Penzance. Linda Blackstone Gallery, London has shown her work at Affordable Art Fairs in Battersea and Hampstead for many years, and recently in New York, Hong Kong and Singapore.
She has shown in numerous group exhibitions including those at The Royal Society of Portrait Painters, The Royal Academy, The Royal Watercolour Society, The Royal Society of British Artists, and ING Discerning Eye.
Anne-Marie is a regular contributor to Artists and Illustrators Magazine and her work has been widely published as greetings cards, most recently with Dry Red Press. The Art Group have recently published a wide range of her images as wall art.
Buy paintings by Anne-Marie now, through the Reception Selection
Jan 2017 Dry Red Press – range of 12 greetings cards
Jan 2015 Dry Red Press - range of 6 greetings cards
2011 Art Cards Cornwall – greetings cards
1996 – 2005 The Art Group – paintings reproduced as many ranges of greetings cards and posters
2001 Front cover of Amnesty International calendar
2000 Illustration for Amnesty International calendar
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
May 2017 Artists and Illustrators Magazine – Demonstration article
March 2017 Artists and Illustrators Magazine – ‘Masterclass’
November 2016 Artists and Illustrators Magazine – Mixed media drawing
April 2016 Artists and Illustrators Magazine – 'Masterclass'
March 2015 Artists and Illustrators Magazine – Feature Article
August 2013 Artists and Illustrators Magazine - Feature Article
Jan 2013 Artists and Illustrators Magazine ‘Masterclass’
Dec 2012 Artists and Illustrators Magazine – Feature Article