Saturday, April 9, 2016

Author Patty Chang Anker's talented young daughter G talks about art, creativity, why she can't paint with rap music on, and so much more

G at work creating

Portrait of the artist with me

G with Kim Ray, her painting teacher, wearing a t-shirt designed by her other art teacher and inspiration, Katie Reidy

The portrait that started it all

Patty Chang Anker and me at Sarabeth's

I support art and creativity of any kind, and I think it's crucial to support it right from the start. Author Patty Chang Anker changed my life. Her book SOME NERVE: LESSONS LEARNED WHILE BECOMING BRAVE was the inspiration and the force that helped get me, a non-swimmer, into a life jacket and into a fierce current to swim with my son under a waterfall in Hawaii. But she's also become my beloved friend and when I saw a painting her daughter G had done, I instantly decided I wanted to commission art from her. I wanted to treat her like a professional and hand her the check in person! 

I'm so honored to have G. on my blog.

When did you decide you liked to paint?

This past winter, my mom found out about this open studio session (with Kim Ray at Mountain Painters & Artisans Gallery in Londonderry, VT) and I wanted to paint my dog. I love my dog and I wanted to immortalize her in paint! When I painted her it felt like I was capturing my baby. I can capture my baby! That's an amazing feat. So I decided I would like to paint pet portraits because I love animals.

What inspires you?

My family, my puppy, and people's excitement when they see a painting I did. Thinking about how happy someone will be when they see their pet's portrait makes me happy.

How do you like to work? Do you have music on, cookies around?

The first time I painted my dog a bluegrass group was practicing in the studio. They even serenaded my sister with a version of Old MacDonald Had a Farm. That was fun. Normally I would have nice, calm music on. Not rap. NO RAP. And no cookies because they would tempt me to eat them and it would be distracting.

Are there any other artists you like or admire? Why or why not?

I admire Kim Ray, and Katie Reidy (Rarigrafix). They are two amazing women. Kim's art is calm and serene. Katie's is fun and urban. They are different, but I like both. I'm lucky to have studied with both.

What's next for you? What do you think you will paint? 

Probably someone else's dog. That's what I hope.

What question didn't I ask that I should have?

Hm. That's a good question. How about "How did you paint Minnie, what was the process?" The answer would be "First we found out a lot about Minnie, and looked at pictures of her and did research on Vietnamese Jagged Shell Tortoises. Then we painted the background and blew it dry with a hairdryer. Then we traced a picture of the tortoise onto the canvas to give it shape. Then I outlined the shell with black paint, and then did different colors for the body, layer by layer. Then we added shadows. Lastly we did the eye."


Patty Chang Anker said...

We can't thank you enough for commissioning G to paint Minnie and share her process with you. She loved the work, and she also now knows that it has value. She feels like a real artist, and that is a profound gift, one that will shape her self- and world-view from now on! I hope we'll keep encouraging each other to create art, write, and go adventuring from now on, too!

Kim Ray said...

This is sooooo wonderful & exciting!!! Congratulations to G & R!!! We love your Blog! It is terrific!!! What a treat to paint and work with two very special and creative young artists!!! Thank you so much for always inspiring creativity in so many ways!!!
Kim Ray