Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Documentary Artist Anita White Draws Her Way through Life’s Joys and Challenges

LoLa co-founder Anita White is rarely, if ever, without a sketchbook, pens, and watercolors. Describing herself as a “documentary drawer,” she is often known to say, “Nothing is so scary you can’t draw it!”

She also paints with Japanese brush pen and watercolor, and with gouache; on handmade Thai Unryu paper and on silk.

Anita's backyard: Plants at the bottom of the stairs. Watercolor and ink (July 2014)

For LoLa she will once again be showing her work in the front and backyard of her home, also known as Amaranth Art Studio, located on Minnehaha Avenue just two blocks north of Minnehaha Falls Park, where her lush garden features amaranth plants and a vine hut.

Showing with her will be her brother, painter Wallace White, and guest artist Christina Plichta, a painter and mixed media artist who also makes colorful garden flags. 

Portrait of Anita's father, James C. White (1972)

What inspires/informs your art?
I find inspiration in nature and my daily encounters with those I cross paths with. I draw every day—ordinary daily moments inspire me. I also make humorous cartoons about life's foibles.

Time Flies Cartoon; image for silk banner for  Puppet Show

My journaling and chronicling is the mainstay of my work; my blog, Anita’s Visual Journaling, is my evolving expression of this. I feel compelled to document, draw and bear witness to life as it unfolds. I like to depict the natural narrative that life brings—and when things get tough, nothing is so scary you can't draw it!!

However, I also like to sit back and do formal compositions of flowers and beauty, wherever I encounter it.

Gift of beautiful flowers from sweet Hmong girls at the Market (watercolor, ink, pen; 2014)

My travels to places like Mexico, Ireland and Romania have led me to paint large, introspective colorful paintings in the wake of those experiences.

Woman in Red (Gouache on handmade Thai Unryu paper. 1994. 28"x 36")

How many times have you participated in LoLa?
This is my sixth year. After a conversation with Bob Schmitt in May of 2009, I  put an ad in the Longfellow Nokomis Messenger that artists responded to, and thus LoLa emerged after a meeting in my back yard.

Thanks to Bob’s excellent graphic skills and my social outreach, together with Shirley Neilson, Lola emerged to go from strength to strength.

Nokomis Main Beach: Tuesday night swim across the Lake. (Brush pen and watercolor, iridescent blue paint. July 2014.)

What do you like about LoLa?
I love meeting the beautiful and fascinating artists in this neighborhood. Many have become friends. I adore how richly talented this neighborhood is!!

Are you planning anything special for the art crawl?
Yes, I plan to sketch the people that visit us, and I would like to demonstrate silk painting on an ongoing basis too; weather permitting of course.

Painted silk ties: peonies, tulips, snow shovels (2013)

Anita is also a member of the Jewish Women Artists' Circle.

See (and buy) more of Anita’s artwork in her Etsy shop, Anita White's Artwork. 

Lilacs (iridescent paint on silk, 34"x48"; June 2014)

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