Cornerstone’s Artist of the Month for May 2015
Annie Chase is from right here in Camp Hill, PA. She received her B.S. in International Business from Messiah College in 2012 and currently works as a university fundraising manager in the Northeast region.
She has been given many opportunities to travel internationally over the years and enjoys creating landscapes inspired by her travels. The mountain, carrying with it the ability to make someone feel humbled and small yet determined and strong, is a frequently featured subject in both her paintings and photographs as well as her reflective writing.
The portfolio seen at Cornerstone this month features pieces inspired by Annie’s time spent in Nepal (an area recently struck by a devastating earthquake), where she and a friend spent several days trekking through the Himalaya mountain range. This gave way to the inspiration for a collection of the pieces seen here. Contrasting with the high mountain peaks, also seen are pieces featuring water and text, inspired by various literary works.
Below is a recent Q&A with Annie Chase.
Tell us briefly about your background & how you got started in your medium.
My older sister and I were both involved in our high school art programs as teenagers and have grown to appreciate art history and the visual arts more deeply over the years. Our parents always encouraged creativity and imagination, and this fueled a commitment to continually create in some capacity, even in the context of a busy work schedule or travel.
How does your medium inform your viewpoint? Or what do you like most about your medium?
Painting in acrylic has always been the most comfortable and familiar method for me, having started painting this way as a teenager. Though I am not formally trained as a photographer, images captured with a camera are usually those I feel I should commit to memory, whether a vast landscape or small detail. Written reflection usually accompanies these images and helps recreate a beautiful experience, capturing something beyond the visual component itself.
Who or what have been your artistic inspirations?
In terms of individual artists, the work of a few immediately come to mind: Jim Dine’s use of negative space and ability to make everyday industrial items works of art; Andrew Wyeth’s humble yet expressive landscapes; Makoto Fujimura’s expression of faith in his handmade mineral pigments and amazingly vivid creations.
Color and form found in the home, in nature, and around the world as well as visual imagery in the written word are also sources of creative spark.
Do you have a favorite piece in your portfolio?
The pieces inspired by my time spent in Nepal will always be a special tribute to that amazing season of growth and adventure.
What would be your advice to artists just starting out in your medium?
Take time to observe. Look up and look out before (or, maybe, instead of) documenting anything, and make this a habit. We can all quite easily identify what distracts us the most from our environment and other people, and my guess is that a lot of inspiration is missed when we’re looking down.