Anne Harkness

Born in: Charlotte, NC, USA

Lives in: Mooresville, NC, USA

Media: Painting

Describe your work in 3 words: We Gotta Dance

See More Work:   www.anneharkness.comProvidence Gallery, Charlotte, NC  - Vision Gallery, Morehead City, NC

Real Easy - Oil on canvas 50 x 50 in.

As a contemporary artist, Anne Harkness looks for a unique point of view and often finds some unexpected beauty in what many would consider an ordinary or unattractive subject. Her focus on design has impacted her style as a painter with a graphic aspect which can usually be seen in her paintings.

What themes does your work involve?

With a background in design, Harkness gravitates towards subjects with a strong graphic image. Town scenes, chairs and telephone poles are among her favorites. The elements Anne uses are line, shape and color to support her design focus. The principles that interest her are balance, rhythm and movement. 'Cause, "we gotta’ dance!" Her hope is that you will never tire of your travels through her paintings.

Describe your creative process.
Harkness photographs a scene that captures her attention. From various photos, she does line drawings to improve the images' design. Next color studies are done. If Anne feels she still has passion for the piece after this prep work, she will paint it larger. The goal is to have passion fuel the painting to the finish. She works in series based on the subject, sometimes varying the canvas sizes, sometimes not.
What influences your work? What inspires you?

If it's got a strong graphic image and shows a unique point of view, chances are Harkness may like it. She loves the buttery texture of oil paint. Showing the process and those many layers that lie underneath are part of what Harkness treasures. She says painting is like life, with its many layers peaking through to the finish. The artists that have influenced her are Staprans, Diebenkorn, Degas, Japanese prints, Toulouse Lautrec, Klimpt, Peri Schwartz and Brian Rutenburg.

What is good art? What makes a piece of art great?

Great art captures something unexpected. It's beauty strikes at our very core. The artist gives something of themselves to the artwork and that is what calls to people. Great art is more than just technical skill; it's got to draw the viewer in, tell a story, or emote a feeling we want to keep experiencing.

What is the role of the artist today?
Art has many roles. It documents the world in which we live. Since the artist often is struggling with something (as do most people), their artwork contains some of that struggle and sometimes the viewer understands it a fresh. In times of grief, we seek beauty to hold onto, as if it contains a little bit of the Divine. We want to hold on to the eternal, even if we don't believe, we want to hold on to hope. Something in us grasps for that beauty as if it is life itself.

This page was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist