Anne Neely
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Artist Statement


Anne Neely   Water Stories

My parents fostered in me and my siblings an abiding love for nature, its tangible manifestations of sky, sea, and land as well as its intimations of the unseen, the infinite, and its invitation to imagine.

I found painting to be the most compelling way to continue my connection to nature and delve more deeply into the unseen. It has been through the practice and process of painting that I reference those early childhood memories viscerally, triggering them with what I observe, read, and know in my contemporary world. Because it is very important for me to "wonder" as I paint, I approach painting by asking questions, just as a scientist does, and it is through my investigation of these questions that a painting is built with one curiosity layered on top of another. I start by pouring paint on a canvas to make a base and further define a structure. As I paint I find that each piece gives me a thread to follow for the next painting, and gradually a body of work emerges.

My own visual language of mark-making has developed over the years, so that each painted stroke helps me find new configurations of the natural world through space, color and form. These marks consist of circles, squares, and rectangles and the sum total of these gestures explores uncharted territories of imagined landscapes. In their labor-intensive accumulation, the marks help define the passage of time both in the work and in the course of making it.

When I dwell in a place, it becomes embedded in me. When I observe a place, there is a conversation between the observed and me that leads to an interpretation through memory, idea, and imagination. What remains is an experiential transformation of that place, and what remains in me is the transformation of being there.

Anne Neely