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Mind of the Artist Part XIII: Ann Pickett

March 22, 2017

“I’m rarely sure when I am done with a painting, but I am very aware when I’m done painting.” So says Ann Pickett, our February featured artist, sharing a message that really resonates: the work may never be finished, but the physical practice of art becomes something that can be measured, can come to a conclusion.  It’s a subtle difference, but it’s one that really speaks to the Mind of the Artist; someone who is so in tune with her own artistic sensibility that she knows when to stop, even when the work in front of her doesn’t tell her so.  It’s part of what makes Ann’s words leap off of the screen in this reflection on her work and style–vibrant, alive, and bursting with color, we are so thrilled to share Ann’s mind and some of her glorious work.  Here’s Ann!

“Ann Pickett also is an abstractionist, but her vibrant acrylic-on-paper paintings have an almost-representational quality that suggests Richard Diebenkorn. These pictures hint at landscape, but also at intimate interior vignettes.” By Mark Jenkins February 19, 2016, Washington Post

I am a  graphic designer by day and a painter/mixed media artist by night, working primarily in acrylics on paper and canvas, and I began painting abstracts in 2005.

apickett_one, tutu low res.jpg

One, Tutu currently on display at the Hill Center

A “circus” of color, a “flurry” of paint — I love that description, because it is exactly how I paint. Inspired by landscape, the figure, and everyday objects. I paint because I love to paint, to express myself in bold colors. I love to paint large. Line and form just resonate with me, it feels good and right. Painting allows me to let my artistic energy loose, to be brave and bold; it is just fun and freeing. I love the rush that moves through me when I am moving the brush and things begin to happen.


She Comes and Goes currently on display at Bluebird Sky Yoga Studio, DC

Usually, I choose a few colors and start painting in a flurry. I like to put a lot on my canvas or paper all at once, bold expressive strokes, color, and line, before I really take in what is there. I work very quickly and intuitively, reacting to each stroke as it speaks to me. I paint layer after layer, rotating my canvas, hiding or exposing what is underneath in order to create depth and light.


Still Life with Pots currently on display at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, DC

My palette evolves with my painting; I tend to like lots of colors, and end up having to restrain myself. I always paint from something: landscape, figure, still life. I’m rarely sure when I am done with a painting, but I am very aware when I’m done painting. I usually sit with my painting for days or weeks before I decide if I like it, hate it, or am ready to go at it again.


The artist at the Foundry Gallery, DC October 2016

I am fortunate to have taken classes with amazing artists including Joyce McCarten, Bev Ryan and Marsha Staiger. I am, and hope to remain, forever a student: so inspired by the talent around me!

Speaking of talent: don’t miss Ann’s piece–along with a beautiful array of works by artists from across the District–in CHAL’s current show in the CHAW Gallery, “Vessels.”  The show will be here through February, and the Gallery is always free and open to the public–so come on in!