|"The Hidden Person of the Heart", 20"x 16", Oil on Linen|
Name: Ann Kraft Walker
Current City:The Woodlands
1) When and how did you first become seriously interested in Art?
My mother was the most creative person I know. She made everything she touched beautiful. From an early age I was aware of many creative art forms. A fourth grade art teacher told me I should be an artist, so I tucked that away as a prospect. I majored in Art History in 1977 at UT ( the degree was chosen based on no math requirements ). Fast forward to the early 90's when my husband's job moved us and our three young children to northern Germany for a few years. It came over me all at once, standing in front of a Dutch floral painting in the Hermitage, St Petersburg, Russia. At that moment, I desperately wanted to learn to paint.
2) What is your training, and what medium(s) / subject matter do you work in?
I began fooling around with paint in the mid 90's, but only tried my hand at folk art. I was mostly wife and mommy, so not much time went to art for many years. I gradually grew bored with folk art and began shifting toward realism. Progress was very slow, as some years I would only paint one work. My first oil painting was a still life, and I continue in oil and predominately still life work, but I love portraits too. In 2010 I began taking workshops and the learning curve accelerated.
3) What do you try to express in your work?
Just beauty. I love plain, simple beauty.
4) What artists/professionals have been your biggest influences?
I took a workshop from Casey Baugh when I knew next to nothing and I was so excited by what I was learning I could hardly stand it. I have been privileged to take from Rob Liberace, David Kassan, Jeff Hein, Michael Klein and most recently Josh LaRock.
5) What do you do to gain new inspiration for your work?
I pray a lot. Often inspiration comes unexpectedly, almost subconsciously. Sometimes an idea will be planted as a tiny seed and grows slowly, or sometimes it hits me all at once.
6) What would you like to be doing with your art ?
The same thing, only lots lots better I hope! I would like to focus more on portrait and figurative work and tackle more ambitious projects.
7) Do you set goals for yourself concerning the making of your art?
A very important goal of late has been seeking balance in life and art. The first year or so after InSight Gallery took me on, I could not catch up to save my life. I became overwhelmed and stressed with deadlines, show entries, commissions and other commitments. That took a toll, robbed some of the joy and some very mediocre work resulted. I made some major changes and I've got the peace and joy back. I hope my work will improve as a result.
8) Are you happy with your job choice as an artist? Do you have any regrets in this career choice or things you would have done differently?
Totally and completely happy. I am incredibly grateful for this privilege of making art!
9) Any fun or interesting facts about yourself that you'd like to share?
When I was a little girl I had a pet raccoon that slept with me.
10) Best piece of advice for other artists?
Although shows, competitions, accolades and such are all wonderfully fun, the very best and sweetest part of it all is just being at the easel. The process is a mixed bag of highs and lows, successes and failures and a zillion other things which make up a multifaceted gem that is solid joy. Enjoy the process!