Things That Kill- Anne Petty


Things That Kill curated by Norman Lundin

“Consider, for example, such varied assassins as leaded water, pills, red meat, too much sun…. Consider, for a moment more, that of the many things that kill, countless are appealingly beautiful as well as lethal, seducing artist and viewer. How to handle these “killers” in such a way that the intended expressive implications are conveyed, is as formidable an artistic challenge as engaging the more overt content implied by the show’s title.” -Norman Lundin

Including work by: Fred Birchman, Brian Blackham, Marsha Burns, Joe Crookes, John Fadeff, Ellen Garvens, Jim Holl, Michael Howard, Amy Huddleston, Caroline Kapp, Dianne Kornberg, Riva Lehrer, Brian Murphy, Elizabeth Ockwell, Anne Petty, Glenn Rudolph, Graham Shutt, Kathy Vargas and Evelyn Woods

September 1 – October 29, 2016
Opening Reception: First Thursday, September 1, 6 – 8pm

Artist Interview #15 Part 2: Anne Petty


1. In what way is your work a reflection of the theme “Things That Kill”? Is your work for this show in line with or an exception to your usual way of working?
For the past two years my work has been exploring the character of what I have named “the wild woman”—a mishmash of the cultured lady and primitive woman. Within this body of work, I consider her day to day life and existence, of the figure stripped away from society and off on their own in the wild. Among other thoughts, sustenance was something that came up—how and what does she eat to survive? The parallel between animal and human as well as the gradients of civility are interesting to me. To eat she must hunt. She takes on the role of the feral animalistic hunter as well as the more methodical hunter, using tools and traps. I enjoy the blurring between the two—she is clothed giving her some connection to society yet she is crawling about like an animal, perhaps even displaying her prey from her mouth.

2. How did you approach the subject matter?
As mentioned in my previous response, I had already been working on subject matter that the theme “Things that Kill” overlapped with. It was a really nice coincidence, and gave me a push to explore that side of my subject matter a bit further.

3. Are there any anecdotal notes that may give insight to a new viewer about your work in “Things that Kill”?
Being a vegetarian for many years, this theme is an interesting one for me to work within. In the beginning I felt slightly conflicted depicting these women hunting prey, something I don’t see myself as being able to do, but only initially. I view their hunting as an outward display of their strength and tenacity. While still having its own unique challenges, I appreciate the straightforward simplicity of their existence.

“Observing Observing (a white cup): Anne Petty”

With each exhibition, we will post interviews with the participating artists along with a photo of said artists in their studios and images of their work. In the future, we will post videos of artist interviews.

“Observing Observing (a white cup)” opens September 12th and continues through October 31, 2015

Curated by Eric Elliott, Michael Howard & Norman Lundin. More than twenty artists (both gallery artists and not) accepted the invitation to submit work.

Reception for the artists, Sept. 12, 2 – 4 pm

Artist Interview #15: Anne Petty

1. How did you respond to the idea of the white cup?

My first instinct was to stick a figure into the paintings, as that is my usual subject matter, however I don’t often paint still life’s, so I thought I’d take this as an opportunity to do so. The cup I used is ceramic and reflective. I wanted to use that quality and set the cup next to images I like—one being a postcard of a Picasso painting and another a book with a painting by de Kooning on the cover. It was an excuse to revisit other people’s paintings I admire.

2. Are you a full time artist, if not how do you support your art?

In addition to my studio work, I work part time teaching painting and drawing at Gage Academy in Seattle and nanny during the afternoons during the week. I like the balance each job offers.

3. When did you consider yourself an artist?

I’ve been making art of some kind since I was young, but it wasn’t until I completed all of my schooling that I felt comfortable introducing myself as an artist.

4. What are your influences?

While I find inspiration all over, my biggest influences are people—their gestures, form, idiosyncrasies, and psychology are all incredibly interesting to me. People watching is one of my favorite activities. Like most artists, I also look at and am influenced by others people’s paintings. Artists such as Lucian Freud, Goya, de Kooning, Paula Rego, Ann Gale, and Kyle Staver are some of my particular favorites, although the list is long. I also look to film and photography, in particular directors and photographers like Hitchcock, Garry Winogrand, and Cindy Sherman.

5. How big is your studio, what kind of lighting?

My studio is about 110 sq. feet. I just moved studios this past week and am still settling into the new space and getting organized. I do have natural lighting, but also lights with both warm and cool bulbs to get a nice temperature balance and for consistency. Having lighting I can control is essential.

6. What is a typical day in the studio like for you? Do you listen to music, radio or tv in your studio?

I tend to do the bulk of my painting in the morning and early afternoon. When I first arrive I will assess where I’m at in a painting through writing, drawing or just looking. I think better with silence, so I’ll hold off on music or podcasts until I get into a painting groove. When I first start working, it’s also the time where I will take care of any research needs for the day (look through images I’ve taken, find interesting film stills or images online, study other artists’ paintings, etc.). After that, the rest of my time is ideally spent painting, often while listening to music or a podcast.

7. What is your preferred medium? Do you work on one project at a time or several?

I do most of my work in oils, but I also watercolor and draw. I feel best when I have several paintings going at once, usually all examining a similar idea or concept. I find it helps to take some of the pressure away from an individual piece and as a result I am better at taking risks.

8. Do you have any special or unique tools, devices or process that you use in your art making?

I’m fairly straight forward with my materials, so no, nothing out of the ordinary.

9. What do you do outside the studio, aside from a job?

I like to spend time biking, traveling, and trying new food with my husband, Sean (ideally all combined into one event). I also am an avid reader and always carry a book with me.