In an interview with our galleries, mixed media artist Anke shares details on her creative origins, her current studio practice, and her artistic philosophy. Learn what inspires her whimsical works on panel and explore her process.
“My work is inspired photographically, but I take it beyond the ordinary representation to create a harmonious blend of textures with composition.”-Anke
What inspires you?
Travel! The further the better— I love to explore the world. I like to go to far away places to experience different cultures, different colors and different patterns everywhere you turn. When I travel, my eyes open up to new environments; it brings new life to my work. My best work comes right after a big trip.
Your works often depict unique, surreal scenarios and compositions that seem to originate in dreams – how do you develop these compelling stories?
My paintings are based on the innocence of child-like dreams and scenarios that cannot exist in real life. I create new realities through my work — a dog can effortlessly balance on a horse, or an elephant can gracefully step over a house. In childhood, there are no boundaries — I seek to capture that in my compositions and let the viewer come up with their own interpretation. I avoid spelling out the whole story; I like to leave some mystery to my paintings
What is your studio like, and how does it affect your creative process?
To create, I have to have high ceilings white walls and good music playing all the time. My dog & sidekick, Jelly, who comes with me everyday. Without those major elements, I would not be able to create the way I do. I keep an organized chaos — most of my studio is organized and tidy but i leave my paint table crazy so I can pick and choose colors at random.
What role does photography have in your work?
Photo is the basis of my work. I grew up with photography all around me — my father was a professor at Cornell Univeristy and also a photographer. I was his assistant growing up and later in high school I was an apprentice with a professional photographer, and then it was my major in college.
How has your work evolved over the years?
I like to think that that comes naturally as time changes so does my work, as I evolve as a person, my work grows with it.