The inspiration for my paintings began at an early age. Although I’m not a native Vermonter, my family has a long-time connection to the state. My earliest memories are from around the age of four. I recall the dense lush green of the landscape, the particular smell of fern and earth in the forest, and the sound of summer rain on a metal roof. I returned to Vermont for a couple of summers in my teens and finally made a permanent move here in 1997. I’m happy to say that the sensations I experienced in my youth are still the same today!
I’ve been lucky to make my living by being creative. I earned an Associate’s Degree in Visual Communications from the Art Institute of Atlanta and freelanced for many years as a graphics designer for clients such as Art Papers and Georgia Magazine. When my son was old enough to attend school I decided to return to school too to complete my Bachelor’s Degree at Vermont College and, simultaneously, earn my teaching license. I’ve been teaching art to elementary students since 2002. One of the pleasures of teaching has been the chance to fill in gaps in my fine art training by attending continuing education classes at such esteemed institutions as the Penland School of Crafts in Penland, North Carolina, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts. These have been vital learning experiences for me and I look forward to further developing my work through classes and workshops.
My art making interests have varied over the years. I’ve experimented with folk art-inspired assemblages, abstractions in oil, and soft sculpture. My current work in pastel is focused on the rural landscape of Vermont. I love pastel for its intense rich color and for being easy to manipulate. Although I paint with pastel I would say that my medium is really light. The light in Vermont is, at times, magical–creating long and low shadows that stretch across the ground and through my imagination. My work is about these negotiations of light and dark, both in the visual world and in the soul.
I hope you enjoy my work and that you’ll contact me with questions and comments at anneleedsart.com. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, twitter, Google+, tumblr, and Linkedin.