Mentored by Carrie Jadus
Anna Ayres: I’ve always felt like an artist, sensitive and in tune with my emotions and the connection we have to the natural world. This is where my art began.
. . . Over the years, my artistic career has meandered in and out of the more practical path, but has always been there. I graduated in 2004, and ever since, painting is a constant. I am continually called to it, trying new things and always developing my artistic skills. Acrylic painting turned into a deep love for oils a handful of years ago. I also do illustrative work in watercolor, which I began exploring a couple of years ago. As artists, we try different things and it’s in the trying that we start to see what’s possible.
CP: What have you been working on since being selected as an Emerging Artist?
AA: For years, I’ve been saying to myself and out loud, “I just want to paint big skies and clouds.” I also love the botanical life and birds here in Florida. I believe birds and trees directly connect us to our greater sense of well-being and safety. If the birds are happy, the Earth is healthy and thriving. It’s a primal connection. So I’m really focused on the act of oil painting: creating all those ideas and inspiration from birds, botanicals, air and water that are waiting to be brought to life on the canvas.
CP: What has your relationship with your mentor been like?
AA: Absolutely outstanding. What a blessing! She’s taught me so much about what it means to be a professional artist in such a short amount of time. Through her, I am offered confirmation to let go of my fears in order to really achieve what it is I believe I can. Carrie validates all the hard work I’ve done so far, and exemplifies the kind of life I’m in the midst of creating. . . This relationship takes me beyond what my imagination can conjure up and shows me what’s possible and how I’m going to move forward. It has provided me with the confidence to take the next steps in my career.
CP: When you meet, what types of things do you work on?
AA: We’ve had such a broad range of experiences together, as an artistic career is all-inclusive. It covers all aspects of one’s being, not just a single compartment or two.
I absolutely love reading books about creativity, belief systems, self-improvement etc., as does Carrie. . . Most recently she gave me a copy of Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland. We painted together, which I wrote a blog about as it was a hugely pivotal experience for me. We discuss tools, techniques, methods, where to spend money, as well as personal matters and how they can affect focus and direction. Next we’ll be photographing the work I’ve made for the Emerging Artist show and compiling a portfolio booklet I can approach galleries with.
CP: What have you learned from her?
AA: The overriding takeaway for me is that it is time to prioritize painting in my life. If I choose to pursue an artistic career, it’s simply a matter of staying focused, shedding the self-doubt of my inner critic and allowing myself to paint. A lot. There is no longer room for the debilitating voice of perfectionism. There is only space for showing up to the easel and doing my best in each moment, doing what I love to do.