I grew in a small town in Illinois; surrounded by cornfields and pastures. It was a nice quiet place to grow up in. It was scenic and beautiful, though unfortunately my family didn’t embrace the arts. When I was five years, I wanted to be a ballerina and my family just laughed. A few years later, I wanted to learn to play the piano and my mother asked me, “Do you see a piano anywhere?” So I realized my resources were pencils and notebook paper. I would draw and doodle in my classes to help me to focus. Eventually, my art teacher gave me a few pieces of drawing paper and that was my start as a visual artist.
I loved my small farm town but I just dreamt of more. I wanted to explore the different cultures and locales around the world so I joined in the U.S. Navy after high school when my parents made me turn down an art scholarship. I endured some rough times, but thankfully I ended up moving to New York City where I attended Parsons New School of Design and Bank Street College of Education, after receiving a scholarship that paid half of my tuition. Later, I went back to school and received my M. Ed from National Louis University.
My art is a reflection of my life on a personal level. I have faced financial, emotional and heartache just like so many others and my paintings are chunks of time on canvas or paper. I have travelled to over 30 countries; however, I have so many more places that I want to visit.
My artwork is influenced from my travels and from my mentor, Philipp Valy out of New York, as well as by the Masters, Hieronymus Bosch, Dorothea Tanning and Max Ernst. From this I have created by own style of of "Primitive Pop".
My Native American roots echo through my artwork as I create outdoor sculptures in my ‘Totem Series,” which is a contemporary twist of Native American totem poles, my drawings and my paintings.
I am a mother of three amazing children, who are my biggest inspiration. My hope is that I will make them proud of me. I am an Art teacher at a High School and a full-time artist/illustrator. I teach my students drawing, painting, and other art forms.
This is Week 5 of 52 Artists in 52 Weeks. Thank you for reading and sharing Anita's story today. To see more of Anita's work and to connect with her, please visit the following links: