Anne Stine was recently interviewed by ArtistCloseUp.com. Read on to learn about Anne’s background, her inspiration and artistic process in her contemporary encaustic landscape artwork.
Anne Stine is an award-winning artist from
Fairfax, Virginia, located near the Washington DC
metropolitan area. She adds a unique element to
her landscape painting by combining traditional
painting techniques with the unconventional
medium of encaustic wax.
Her interest in art began during her childhood
where she grew up in an old farmhouse dating
back to the 1920s. The house was situated in a 3-
acre rural setting situated amongst a sprawling
suburban neighborhood. She spent her free time
playing outside among the large oak trees, creeks,
and ponds connecting with her environment by
replicating natural elements in her first sketch
book. Little did she know that these sketches
would later become the foundation for her entire
But it wasn’t until her family settled in Purcellville, a rural community in western Loudoun County, Virginia, that Anne’s love of nature and art culminated in a painting and local art advocacy career.
Loudoun County, nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain region, is known for their flourishing artist community and where Anne was given the opportunity to join an artist cooperative to launch her painting career in 2016. At this time, she discovered encaustic art and it soon became the dominate medium in her landscape work. Anne explains, “By combining oils with encaustic medium, I can add a luminous and sensual quality to my work using vivid color and dramatic texture.” Anne’s passions also include art advocacy in her community.
During her short time living in Purcellville, Virginia, she founded an art exhibition, an artist studio tour, and a community art gallery to give other artists the opportunity to share their work locally on a regular basis. “I now see my past career in arts marketing has given me the skills I needed to help others on their journey to becoming professional artists.” Anne is also a member of several local nature conservancy organizations where she volunteers her time to help preserve the natural world that she loves so dearly. “I see how my life has come full circle. Painting with a purpose and enjoying the natural world as my inspiration.” Each year, she exhibits solo shows of her contemporary landscapes at local wineries and galleries, as well as participates in international juried group shows and competitions. These exhibitions have recently expanded to areas ranging as far as Washington D.C, Manhattan, Maryland, and coastal Virginia. Her list of galleries where she is a resident artist continues to grow as well. Anne is currently based in Purcellville, Virginia, where her home and studio are located.
What is your background and how did you start your journey in the art world?
“I was constantly drawing as a kid. My favorite subjects were the flowers and animals I discovered in the forest near my home in Virginia. I couldn’t wait to get outside each day and explore nature and find little treasures that I could replicate in my own style on paper or canvas. This passion for nature and painting continued in my high school years and in college. When I began my studies at Virginia Tech, I couldn’t decide on which field to major in, so I studied both. Quickly, I discovered becoming an environmental scientist wasn’t for me, and switched to Communications. With this background, I was able to create a career in arts marketing working with large arts organizations while I continued to study painting at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC. During the time of raising my three children, I was able to start my own mural painting business which I ran for 10 years, culminating in a career as a professional fine artist and painting instructor. My focus now is growing my art career while helping other artists along the way, and doing what I can to campaign for environmental protection.”
What inspires you?
“I mainly focus on the horizon as a fundamental compositional element in my work. The simplicity of the two geometric shapes of earth and sky, augmented by natural elements such as trees, water and mountain elements produce a calming effect on the psyche, and draws the viewer in to explore a personal experience in the scene. I try to create imagery that borders on the abstract to ignite the imagination. My best inspiration usually comes from hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains along the Appalachian Trail. By experimenting with a variety of palettes, a simple horizon can produce a variety of emotions in the viewer. Bold, bright colors create excitement. Soft pastels illicit serenity. Certain compositions can also create a certain mood I want to convey as well. Dreamy tonal trees in the distance create a different response versus strong geometric rock formations. It’s this ability to construct an emotional response in my work that keeps me interested in continuing to paint landscapes.”
What themes do you pursue? Is there an underlying message in your work?
“Ever since childhood, nature has been my sanctuary. It’s where I go to catch my breath and meditate on the spiritual bond I feel when I’m totally immersed in its beauty. This deep personal connection and childlike awe of our natural world is what I passionately wish to share with others. My art centers around the theme of glorifying our natural home and our codependent relationship with nature. I often hear viewers comment that they have a strong urge to reach out and touch my paintings. When this occurs, I know that I’m witness to a true connection between a person’s spirit and the natural world through my artistic practice.
“My work explores the powerful fundamental need – mental, spiritual, and physical – human beings share for the natural world, and how reconnecting with nature can give a broader sense of community and life itself.”
How would you describe your work?
“I consider my work to be constantly evolving. I first started painting in acrylic mixed media. But once I discovered encaustic with its luminescent, vivid color, and dramatic textural qualities, I was hooked. The unpredictability of this medium really excites me, and I decided to fully concentrate on mastering it in my landscape work. To further challenge myself, I decided to use encaustic rather than a traditional medium such as oils or acrylics to create contemporary representational landscapes. This inspired me to go back to the basics and study traditional landscape oil painting and the use of color and value in portraying atmosphere as seen in the Impressionist’s work. I’m attracted to how with Impressionism, it was more about the artist’s perception of the subject matter rather than the subject matter itself. The beauty of storytelling was in the subjective.
In 2021, I took a full year to study plein air painting, which was popular with Impressionist painters. This further developed my eye for color in the real world, which I then brought back to the studio to express in encaustic wax on wood panel. In 2022, I feel the need to take what I’ve learned in realism painting and push my artistic vision further into contemporary expressionism. Landscapes will continue to be my subject of choice, but it is exciting to me to now add my own vision and emotive quality to my work to create a desired feeling.”
What is your creative process like?
“The process of creating my landscapes is made unique by the combination of traditional techniques with an unconventional medium. I begin my process by experiencing nature firsthand, capturing not only the scene for my next painting, but also the emotional response it ignites in me. My plein air painting experience taught me that if I truly want to express nature, I need to capture the impression it has made on me personally by being in the moment. I then either paint a color study on location, or take digital photographs back to the studio to further develop a painting. Through my study of traditional landscape painting, I begin with a compositional sketch and a base painting of tonal values on a cradled wood panel. Then, I begin applying the encaustic wax paint to the wood panel. The wax paint is my own combination of beeswax, damar resin and pigment. Each layer of wax needs to be fused with heat; my preference is using a blowtorch. I then manipulate the wax by adding additional mixed media such as pigmented shellac or alcohol inks to create visual texture. Lastly, I use sculpting tools to scratch, dig and build the wax in a variety of textures. The finished piece is unframed to give a contemporary feel, almost as if it’s floating on the wall.”
Which artists influence you most?
“My work is greatly influenced by Monet, Van Gogh, Sargent, and William Turner.”
What is an artist’s role in society and how do you see that evolving?
“As a landscape painter, I feel it is my duty to glorify our natural world during a time where it is struggling to survive. With the constant reminders that our environment is suffering, I want to relay the message in my work that it is crucial to heal nature, as a way of healing ourselves. Scientists and psychologists are finding out more about how our connection as human beings to our environment is part of the critical framework of our survival. I hope these findings continue to be relayed to the world. Art is one medium that could effectively do this.”
Have you had any noteworthy exhibitions you’d like to share?
“The Museum of Encaustic Art located in Cerrillos, New Mexico, hosts a ‘Climate Warming is Real’ exhibit each year, highlighting the multiple facets and manifestations of the urgent climate change we face today. This topic is near and dear to my heart, so I make sure to participate every year. My work has been shown in this juried exhibit and is also hanging in the Museum as a part of their permanent collection.”
View the interview at ArtistCloseUp.com
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For more information about Anne’s work, go to https://annestine.com/wp6.