I am a Los Angeles-based contemporary artist. I earned a B.F.A. in Illustration from Art Center College of Design and an MFA in Painting from Claremont Graduate University.

All my life I have gravitated towards imagery. Growing up I was a daydreamer; often caught looking out the window during class, or sitting in the corner with my nose in a picture book. Having lost my Mom at the age of 6, I think I was looking to my imagination for places to rest my mind and a chance to ditch the earthly rules.

In true Romantic fashion, I entertained visions of beauty and grandeur, played out reunions and relationships in my mind and sought that which was not my own reality. Abundance and loss, light and dark, have been hand in hand throughout my life.

My work focuses on things that are alive. I am reaching out for them, putting them into permanent form. My art is tangible. With oil paint, charcoal and linen; I am building, bundling, cherishing, and documenting. Painting allows me to open, arrange, discover, and state. And it stays put while I go through the paces. Painting gives me time to process imagination, emotion and material. It is an invitation to experience more than I readily know. Making a painting changes me. As Philip Guston says, “It’s a long, long preparation for a few moments of innocence.”

The surface of a painting is its own material playground and, as such, It adds to the greater story of the piece. In my work, delicate blossoms may be sliced through with a sharp-edged palette knife. A buttery wedge of paint may sit on top of an illusionistically rendered bloom and cast its own tiny shadow onto the surface below it. I like to make drawings in paint and liberally use color to change up the images. I often include creamy smeary blending, strong narrative or poetic line, rich blooming stains, and thick manufactured dollops of paint.

The act of painting is a foray into the unforeseen. Putting the brush down and declaring a piece finished is an act of radical acceptance. It is easy to begin a good painting but to finish a good painting is another story. That search to land something that exists in paint and lives for me and possibly others as well is a lifetime quest.

As impossible as it is to capture the living in static material, there is something that happens in being 100% present, full of vital action while making marks and exploring the canvas that gets transferred into the piece and behold— something is there.

Anne-Elizabeth Sobieski

Anne-Elizabeth Sobieski