From childhood dream to reality, Annalee is truly an inspiration and we are excited to have her as a part of Handmade this April! Learn more about her and her work below.
Annalee, introduce yourself and what gave you that creative spark?
I grew up in Kaysville, Utah with an idyllic childhood filled with lots of traveling and museum-going. From a young age, I knew I wanted to be an artist and took every class possible to work towards that goal. I received a BFA in Painting/Drawing and a minor in English literature from The University of Utah. I spent a semester abroad in London, and three years living in Washington, DC, and those experiences really solidified my love of art and art history.
I taught Painting, Drawing, English, and Creative Writing at Clearfield High School for three years, and recently quit to spend more time with my children and to pursue my painting talents. I currently live back in my hometown of Kaysville, Utah with my husband Randy, and two small children, Virginia and George.
What does a typical working day look like?
A typical working day for me is a few hours every afternoon while my children are napping. My motto is “art before dishes,” and I find the energy to work hard and fast during those few hours using a little Cadbury chocolate and a lot of Diet Coke. I feel lucky to have my own studio space in my home where I can leave my mess and jump right into work whenever the opportunity presents itself.
When you need musical inspiration, who do you turn the volume up for?
I love music, but find myself listening to podcasts the most while I am working. I love stories about people’s lives and learning new things.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by the greats like John Singer Sargent, and Rembrandt, but also children’s book illustrators and botanical prints. I love working from old photographs and incorporating vintage pattern into my paintings and prints. My work is very much about color and beauty. I am currently very inspired by the poem “Our Grandmothers,” by Maya Angelou, and the line from the poem that goes “I go forth alone and stand as ten-thousand.” I like to think about mine and other’s ancestors that have gone before. I have been trying to capture that idea in my current “grandmother” paintings.
What mediums do you use?
I paint primarily in oil but have been intrigued by gouache as of late.
What do you love most about being a handmade artist?
I love being a handmade artisan because I am able to create and keep my love of creation while raising my children.
How can people get in touch with you?