My Story and My Art

HERE’S MY STORY…..

In September 2015 I became a widow. I had spent 46 years of marriage and parenting with an incredibly wonderful man, Shelton Joseph Bourgeois. While we raised our three daughters, his friendship and support of me as an artist was beyond remarkable. When our twins were only two and our youngest only six months old, he sent me off one night a week for a class at Louisiana Art and Artists Guild. This changed my life. In the midst of caring for my children with all that entails I lived and breathed my ART. Especially drawing and painting. When my girls went to school I did too, receiving an MFA from Louisiana State University in 1983.  By this time a parallel passion was taking grip of me. Teaching Art. Although I was a certified classroom teacher since 1966 and had spent many a year with many students from 3rd to 8th grade, I was thrilled to take on a part time job teaching Art at Baton Rouge Magnet High School. I loved it! I fell in love with the students who actually fed my creative spirit for 10 years.

But in 1996 after almost 30 years in the classroom (painting the whole time when time and space permitted) I decided to launch out to extend my own education. I became certified in Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, developed by Betty Edwards. On the heels of that, I became acquainted with Mississippi Art Colony. Since 1998 I have been attending the Colony’s bi-annual workshop where I have studied with many artists from around the country as well as associating myself with all the great professional artists in this group.

It was also in ’98 when I realized I needed a larger studio. My husband was the one who pushed me on that, suggesting we build a separate building in our back yard just for me to paint and teach. Now after 17 years I wonder how many gallons of paint, yards of canvas, reams of paper and wonderful students have passed through my sweet studio doors!

SO WHAT ABOUT MY ART……..?

Making marks with any medium is a very natural instinct for me.  My interest is in responding to my subjects rather than producing representations of them. Making a gesture of a subject, whether it is physically in front of me or in my memory or psyche, is a way for me to capture it wholly. Details don’t usually grab me. But movement, posture, mood, light, pattern, intervals, line and color capture my imagination first. So my work is mostly intuitive…making lines and marks and shapes of color and then responding to what has appeared on the white surface by the movement of my hand. I treat landscape and still life the same way. What I perceive visually is just a suggestion of what I will draw and paint. 

Having been born in New Orleans and grown up in South Louisiana, nature can’t help being a big part of my intuition. The Mississippi River, the marshes and swamps, fish, crawfish, shrimp, leaf patterns and textures, floral abundance, dripping humidity and intense heat have made up my personal geography. Even today my backyard is my own private jungle garden, complete with goldfish, frogs, a myriad of birds, lizards, and an occasional snake or two. My place is sacred to me. The quiet is punctuated by sounds of rain and creatures. It’s a spiritual habitat that I hope I share in my paintings.

Where to find my work……….

Ann Connelly Fine Art       4221 Perkins Road        Baton Rouge, 70808http://www.annconnelly.com    

 Anne Irwin Fine Arts      690 Miami Circle   #150    Atlanta, GA   30324www.anneirwinfineart.com            404-467-1200

Fischer Galleries     736 President St., Jackson, MS601-291-9115               www.fischergalleries.com

  FW Gallery            8501 Highland Rd.    Baton Rouge, LA225-769-0582        www.fwgallery.net

Biletnikoff Galery    7809 Jefferson Hwy.   Baton Rouge, LA 70806www.biletnikoffgallery.com          225-324-8936