Anne Shopp is an emerging artist living in Broomfield Colorado. She loves acrylic portrait painting and drawing, and creating handmade art journals. This is the first installment in her 4-part series as Artist Strong’s Resident Artist. You can find Anne on her instagram account @art4anne.

Thank you so much to Carrie Brummer and Artist Strong for the opportunity to participate in the Digital Art Residency(DAR). In preparing for the DAR, I have learned and grown so much by simply reflecting on my art practice and planning what I would like to create in September. I tried many daily art practices, several of which were too time-consuming. However, I did find some practices I’m excited to share in September.

The risk is great for me to share my art in any space, even my home, much less on a digital platform. In working with Carrie Brummer for the past 24 weeks in the Happy Ever Artist coaching, I have developed both Artist skills and the courage to start sharing my artwork. In 2022, I retired after 38 years as a Marriage and Family Therapist and Art Therapist. I deeply believe in art’s healing power; however, I lacked confidence in my artistic skills. In preparing for retirement, I started to explore different avenues for creating. I love quilting, but I am awful at quilting – too much math for me. At the start of my retirement, there was so much frustration. I want joy in my life. I wanted my Artist expression to be fun and playful. I also want a challenge and to feel successful.

So how did I find joy in creating? Well, I love faces! I love to ride the subway when visiting family in NYC and see all the unique faces of the world on the train. I have spent my whole career sitting across from beautiful humans, willing to explore their lives. In my artwork, I hope to capture the expression of emotions; I want the viewer to wonder about the person or people in the picture and create a story of who they are and what they are doing, feeling, or expressing. Or to wonder what the relationship is between the two people. I love this exploration of face, emotion, expression, and relationships between people.

Underpainting - raw umber and white acrylic - young woman

Durning DAR, I would like to complete two paintings. The first one I thought about painting is a re-do from February 2021, a picture of my Daughter and myself. As I started playing with sketches and the drawing of the 2021 painting, my inner voice became critical. I decided now was not the time to try this painting, so I picked another reference photo from Unsplash.

I currently use a projector to draw out the image on my canvas. Did I say I like to feel successful? Using the projector, I can get the facial landmarks so that the faces look human to me. However, I depend on the projector, so I would like to create a 30-minute daily sketch practice using photos from the Museum. I saved 30 images, so I won’t waste time deciding on a reference photo daily. As life would have it, after no travel for Covid times in September, I have 2-weekend trips to visit friends and family; this means I will be doing daily-ish sketches.

30 minute sketch graphite young woman

I wanted to use the grid method to plan how to do the sketches. At first, I set up a graph paper process that was so complex that I was unable to use it. This was when I learned another huge part of the process when planning for the DAR is asking for help. Luckily, I have a technology-savvy husband who was able to help me simplify the graph; he helped me move between different applications, work with different ratios, and so much more. He has also helped with the hanging of artwork. My friend, Lisa, helped me with photos of both my art and headshots. My Daughter, Veronica, has shown me how to post on Instagram and is acting as my editor. So if this sounds stupid, it’s all her fault! See if she leaves that in, lol! My friend Louise has been my mindset cheerleader coach encouraging me to get my art out there. Lastly, Carrie has been a fantastic mentor and teacher. What I have learned in Happy Ever Artist has given me the courage to share my art. I am so fortunate to have so much support.

I am so excited to see what evolves. To follow my art journey, check out my Instagram @art4anne

Thank you for being on this journey with me!