I believe that some people are born with a need to create. It could be through visual arts, music, writing or anything that requires imagination.
I remember in elementary school one of my teachers told my mother I should have art lessons. I found myself in a Saturday morning class with teenagers. Although somewhat intimidated, I stuck it out and even enjoyed it...and I managed to produce several bad paintings. My need to create was born and it stayed with me.
I majored in art in college and then life happened and with a Navy officer for a husband and a small child, we moved around and art took a back seat. It was around twenty years ago that I began again with a few classes and a reignited passion. I can’t imagine my life without art. I know it’s expected that an artist develop a recognizable style but I want to try everything...every genre and every medium. The days when I can’t go to my studio feel incomplete. It’s like a day without wine.
After spending a very structured 27 years in the urban planning field, I retired in 2002 looking forward to coloring OUTSIDE the lines. That is when I began my journey in art.
My familiarity with patterns and sewing led me to my first adventure in art: silk painting. I was fortunate to be able to attend the Arrowmont and Penland schools to study the technique of silk dying called Shibori. I continued studying the Shibori technique at Haystack in 2012 under Yoshiko Wada. There is an Asian influence in many of my art works today.
Also at the intersection of my urban planning and my art is the non-objective painting and collage pieces that are some of my favorite works. I have been fortunate to have studied with Joan Blackburn, Mary Todd Beam, Jiyoung Chung, Joan Fullerton and Robert Burridge - to name a few.
I can say that art has led me to draw a new blueprint for my life. I see the world with renewed eyes. The wonderful part of the creative process for me is to discover a piece I abandoned, and give it a fresh look with new energy. Making art is what excites me now.
I paint memories… As a contemporary landscape artist, my work often encompasses atmospheric skies and wide-open spaces of a childhood growing up in the midwest with endless summers spent on the Gulf Coast.
I am a minimalist. My paintings reflect the adage “less is more.”
My mother was the creative force in my life. I remember the boxes of crayons, stacks of colored paper and paints she would purchase for me. As an adult, I pursued a masters degree in school counseling and worked many years in this field. It wasn’t until I took a job overseas in Saudi Arabia counseling expat children that things began to change. The Gulf War started and I found myself searching for a way to support my students. I remember the joy I found in creating as a child, so I incorporated art into these therapy sessions. I discovered it allowed the children a means of expressing their fears and uncertainties without words. This experience opened my eyes once again to the power of art and what I wanted to pursue back in the States.
Today I share space in a working studio at Gallery 1060 in Pensacola. I am surrounded by like-minded artists who are willing to offer advice, support and friendship. My journey continues with no exact route or precise destination, only the joy of creating.
I have enjoyed art since I was a child. My first art teacher was my mother. When a four year bachelors degree became a requirement to teach school, she would take me along to FSU while she took classes. To keep me busy while she was in class, she would often give me paper and pencil and ask me to draw. Nature was a frequent and favorite subject. When class was over, I would show her my drawing of a squirrel, tree or flower and she would encourage me and help me realize what I could do better next time.
My mother was my first art critic, and I didn’t even know at the time!She supported my drawing over the years. It was with my mother that I had my first art class. The teacher was Nina Fritz, the artist in residence at the time in Atmore, AL. My art took a backseat to my career in education for quite a few years. When I retired in 2006 as the Principal of Ferry Pass Elementary, I told my friends and colleagues that I was going to immerse myself in the local art community. Since retirement I have taken numerous workshops. I have also become involved in Quayside Art Gallery, Artel Art Gallery, Art Study Club, The Paint Out Group, and The First City Art Center where I have had a studio. I love to paint acrylic abstracts. Flowers are my favorite subject.
I can live in two worlds; that translate into two drastically different interpretations of art. One day my mind is calm and peaceful creating neutral simplistic patterns and lines that generate tranquil poetic surfaces which leave the viewer with a sense of calm. The next day complete chaos erupts into a dramatic colorful subconscious world wind created by means of omission, overlapping layers and references to reality. Where you may tilt your head and ask “what is she trying to say?” With a background deeply rooted in the biological sciences; experimentation, observation and relationships between objects and feelings plays a role in her art.
Joe Hobbs grew up in the Bahamas, Key West, Cuba and California as a result of being in a Navy family. Being raised in coastal communities has heavily informed his work. Joe studied at Rhode Island School of Design and California College of Art before receiving his Bachelor of Fine Art degree from the University of West Florida in 2010. Before accepting the Glass Studio Manager position at the First City Art Center, Joe has worked at the prestigious Pilchuck Glass School and Wimberley Glassworks in Austin, TX. Joe’s work can be found in several collections nationwide, including notable acquisitions of Hobbs’ work by Michael Stipe, Jack Johnson, Cheryl Crow, Lance Armstrong, Blake Lively and Tony Shaloub. Recently Joe has created handblown glass lighting commissions for Global Grill, One Palafox Place, Pot Roast and Pinot, Perfect Plain Brewery and Tin Cow among many private residences.
Anne Taylor Duease
Anne Taylor Duease is a jewelry and accessories designer based in Pensacola, FL. Her designs are reminiscent of exotic and tropical destinations while embodying her bohemian-luxe aesthetic. Her creations include natural elements of eco-silk, pearls, and gemstones accompanied by shipwreck and artifactual treasures.
Signature designs include one-of-a-kind seashell-based rings and exquisite gemstone jewelry that are shaped by the pristine nutrient-rich waters from the world’s most exclusive destinations.
…What Art Will You Wear, Today?
“If you ask me what I came to do in this world,
I, an artist,
will answer you:
I came to live out loud”
I love to speak to my nieces and nephews about what they want to do with their lives. I always think of my brother, Kevin, and his career choice. He was a college football coach while I was selling employee benefits. Kevin, got out of bed every day and did what he loved most. I never got out of bed and yelled “I get to sell insurance today.” Now as I am on my second career as an artist, I am thrilled every day that I get to go to the studio. I love everything about it. The discovery, creating something that did not exist a few minutes ago, the smell of the paint, conferring with the other artists, creating art in a unifying and universal language and of course learning every day. I am now truly living my life out loud.
Originally from Tyler, Texas, I grew up in the Navy in San Diego, California. I have been creating art since my first college photography class. Little did I know that the personal joy and inspiration I felt then would lead me to my work today. I have always been an art enthusiast. Photography has opened my eyes to the miracles around me. Now I find myself looking at clouds, shadows and the street and seeing color where before I only saw black and white. In 2013 I was planning to write but in preparation for a trip to Costa Rica, I bought a Sony camera and watched a training video on composition from B & H Photography. My artistic journey began. When I returned from my trip, I trained at the Photography Institute and then was accepted into Blue Morning Gallery. With the help of an online association, The Arcanum and Robin Griggs Wood, I began to transition from picture taking to fine art. I also began to experiment with digital creations and it is one of my main focuses now. I hope you find my work as inspiring as I have found this entire artistic journey.
Art has been the thread running through my life. At the age of 7, I discovered art as a way to express my myself and the adversity that surrounded me at the time. At age 14, I added sewing to my mix of creative outlets. My love of these arts lay dormant while I joined the United States Navy at age of 22. After serving my country, I began to take courses at Pensacola State College. This is where I began to weave my love of art and sewing together. I began by combining oil paint and fabric on canvas. I also learned how to produce linoleum block prints for fabrics. My company is named “Pins and Needles.” I design my own clothes and have had success at fashion shows. The major fashion shows that I have participated in are Georgia Peach Week, New York Fashion Week and Flay the Runway in Mobile. My greatest joy is to blend my two arts together. I like to present my fashion with my art woven within it. I also like to design my art with fabrics, fashion and culture in mind. Going forward I would like to bind these two art forms in my unique way so that art can have a new wardrobe.
Illustrator and graphic artist Julie McGrath grew up in Massachusetts. She attended the University of Massachusetts at Boston earning a bachelor's degree in Art focusing in Art History. From there she went on to focus her studies on Illustration and Design earning two Master of Arts degrees in Illustration Design and Art Administration from Savannah College of Art and Design. Forever amazed by the pages of Vogue and the work of designers like Giambattista Valli, Marc Jacobs, Gucci and Christian Dior she finds inspiration in recreating their intricate designs on paper. With a profound love of fashion and art, her visual documentation of these major fashion houses brings both worlds together.
When she is not staring at pages of Vogue, Julie finds inspiration in the history of art, the people around her and the twist of proportions. Her illustration work is reflective of her fascination of people watching, the cultural conventions of beauty mixed with a bit of humor. She also finds creativity and inspiration in the imaginations of her children. Currently, Julie is completing her third MA, this time in Art History. Julie teaches in three different colleges and continues to evolve and nurture her style, while also obsessing over the latest runway show.