Painting with a Purpose

[caption id="attachment_135" align="alignnone" width="500" caption=""Vacant" Ann Rea, oil on canvas (sold)"]oil on canvas[/caption] When a collector acquires my work I always like to ask them how my paintings make them feel.  Because that’s why we acquire art, because of the way it makes us feel. It’s the same reason that we listen to music, because of the way it makes us feel, makes us move. The universal response that I receive from my collectors is that my work makes them feel happy, yet calm.   It’s really rewarding for me to know that my work is having a positive effect on another person.  I used to feel very differently but suffering can inspire beauty and creativity. I actually didn’t paint or draw anything for over seven years.  I was fighting my own artistic self. I believed that it wasn’t practical to pursue a creative career and I longed for stability and comfort that I didn’t believe I could have as a creative.  I swallowed negative ideas and stereotypes that stifled my creativity.  Those years were filled with lots of sadness and anxiety. In fact, I developed severe anxiety that included immobilizing panic attacks. In it’s simplest definition, I characterize depression as a preoccupation with the past and anxiety as chronic concern about the future. What does this have to do with my paintings?  Everything.  No amount of pharmaceutical or therapeutic intervention was curing my condition.  So when I decided to paint again it was with whole new purpose, I decided to use my painting as art therapy, it was a last ditch therapeutic measure. With no intention of selling or even showing my work, I began to paint again as an active meditation to calm my mind, a means to alleviate my anxiety.  My artistic focus was light as it is expressed as color, my goal to capture the still beauty of color. The objects of my focus were contemporary still life and then plein air landscapes.  Hence my tag line “savor the colors of a moment.”
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