Recently, we spoke with Artist Ann Beam about her artistic influences and her lifelong love affair with the arts. By utilizing a variety of mediums including painting, found objects, ceramics, inks, and printmaking in collaborative processes, Ann is able to create stunning mixed media works which speak to the many layers of content, critical questioning and theoretical positions she places the viewer into.
“At the Horse Washing Waterfall (after Hokusai)”, 9‘x12’, acrylic and photo transfer on recycled corrugated paper with birch bark and cedar strips, 2011
Describe your creative style in 3 words Inspiring, innovative and leading edge.
Do you work on pieces individually or simultaneously and how does this impact your process? I really only ever work on a single piece at a time (the exception being the "Diamond Jubilee Artworks", where I created 12 works at once.)
Once you’ve created, developed and built a work of art, how do you decide when it’s finally completed? You just know a piece is finished when it's balanced. You just can't add anything else to it. It would be redundant.
Much like the many physical layers each piece has, the narrative and layers of content are revealed to the viewer once they begin to ask their own questions. Ann’s work can be viewed in private collections across the globe as well as exhibited at the Neon Raven Art Gallery on Manitoulin Island.
What single piece of art has most influenced your current art practice? I saw Pablo Picasso's "Femmes aLeur Toilette", at the Picasso Museum in Paris. At the time, I was interested in working with found objects. I liked the large format of this work of his and the way the entire work is mostly done with torn wall papers. I found it pretty challenging to get enough wall papers to work with, so I began using packaging instead. This evolved into corrugated boxes, with added Birch Bark, Cedar, and acrylic paint.
What visuals and non-visuals inform your work? Earth and the aura as seen from space. Sky visuals, symbols and archetypes, animals, recycled windows as a device for creating a second ground within a picture plane. I like to use contrasting visual fields-for instance taking an image and grounding it into a light field. I will then in a partner piece, take the same image and express it across a dark field.
I am impacted by things that kindle my imagination- like energy systems, the natural world, inspired writers, the night sky and newspaper headlines. These ignite ideas that go into my sketch book and eventually turn into art works.
Where do you search for inspiration on a daily basis? I ask for inspiration. I ask to come into alignment with my Source, I ask to be inspired in my Heart and Mind, then from there other people inspire me, animals inspire me, the Earth and Sky inspire me.
What is the most challenging aspects of creating art? Claiming my time for creating art amidst a lot of busyness, financial pressures and distractions. This is often very challenging.
Tell us a little bit about your studio and where you create. I have an adobe studio, which is very beautiful and soulful but also very overcrowded with the storage of artworks. Lately, I have been enjoying working in the Gallery (Neon Raven Art Gallery), which is spacious, open and large enough for the big works I am currently working on.
by Erin, our guest blogger.