the mountains of Western North Carolina "called me home"
a few years ago, I knew I was entering a phase of adventure
and change. The seemingly
random decision to move to the mountains (I had never even been
to North Carolina!) was based completely on a deeply intuitive
feeling and desire. Accepting the challenge of walking into
the unknown felt, in many ways, like standing before a huge
white canvas. If you have never known this experience I can
assure you it is an exhilarating moment; infinite unseen possibilities
exist, and a whole new reality is waiting to be explored and,
moment by moment, created.
The appetite for this kind of challenge is, for me, the essence
of being an artist. One can be an artist in any situation or
circumstance (goodness knows there are a lot of artists in New
York. There are even terrific artists who continue to choose
to live in New Jersey, for heaven's sakethe state, by
the way, I chose to leave). But there is something undeniably
special about Western North Carolina. There is something magical
here: you can feel it in the beauty of the mountains, and you
can feel it in the spirit of the people, both the people who
were blessed with being born here, and the people who, for one
reason or another, have been drawn here. It is something that
manifests and nurtures the soul.
it is, it certainly had a profound affect on my soul.
I knew the taste of being fully awake, intensely curious, and
ready for whatever might evolve. My first experiences were deeply
spiritual. When I set about painting, I became completely consumed
with a series of large paintings expressive of the spiritual
aspects of the natural beauty in which we are immersed. I call
this series "Earth . . . as it
is in Heaven". My passion for this work is undiminished,
but neither is the appetite for the challenge of taking on something
new. After years of working in solitude in the pursuit of very
serious aesthetic goals, a very tempting new path has revealed
It started with the wonderful news that my first grandchilda
boywill arrive in October, and my daughter-in-law's sweet
question, "Could you paint something in the nursery?"
Of course!, I would love to. My son, Bill, is a fortunate man
in many ways, and one of them is that Elena has a gift for interior
design and their home is lovely. She showed me a tiny picture
from a magazine, subtle colors, a flowing landscape, and suggested
it would be nice to have something our new little one could
grow up with. I couldn't have been more pleased or tantalized
by the prospect.
in the empty room I could see the vista of mountains
rolling into the distance, valleys, meadows and forests. The
soft blue of the walls were the perfect backdrop for a skyscape
of clouds. It was only a matter of picking up a brush, and wall
after wall came to life. How often, while working on a six or
eight foot canvas had I thought "I wish it were bigger!"
This was my wish come true - and it felt like dancing.
Everything that a lifetime of painting had taught me - everything
about form, line, balance, color, and composition went into
this painting, but knowing that it existed simply to delight,
it was the essence of play. Anything could happen. The first
decision I made on details was to paint my own little cottage
here in Fairviewimagining, of course, the day our little
boy would point to "Grandma's house". And then the
fun began. Coming in to see the progress, Bill asked, "can
you paint in a golf course?" Yes, I can! (Billy and his
brother, the soon to be Uncle Randy, are avid golfers.) He left
to return to work, and I thought, of course, and how about the
lake? Uncle Danny and Christine love to go boating and fishing
when they come to visit. When Bill returned, he gazed at the
mountains receding into the mist, and because Elena and her
family are Chinese, he asked, "can you paint the Great
Wall of China? Elena's mother would love that." Yes, I
can. And suddenly we realized the wonderful point of this paintingsomething
from everyone who loves this child will be included. And I am
sure, one day, when the little Prince himself can speak, I will
be saying "Yes, I can" to the request for dinosaurs
and space ships.
result of all this is I have discovered something entirely unexpected.
As friends and neighbors arrive to see the progress, I have
discovered how much I love working in this way, and what a pleasure
it is to have such a direct connection to the pleasure that
painting brings to people. I had never before considered taking
commissions to paint wall murals or decorative painting, but,
after all the years of "solitary and serious artistic pursuit",
it seems the time has come to step onto a new path, and to accept
another delightful challenge.
To see an example of the artist's mural painting (and possibly
watch the artist at work), you are invited to visit The
Natural Home at 36 N. Lexington in downtown Asheville.
(828-285-9442) Anne is now accepting commissions for interior
mural painting in private homes and public spaces such as
conference centers, churches and restaurants.
from Anne Bevan's large-scale series "Earth.
. . as it is in Heaven" can be seen at The
Design Gallery, 7 South Main Street, Burnsville,
work, plein air paintings, and commissioned pieces in a series
called "The View from our Home" are available. All
images are also available as artist-enhanced giclee prints.
A description of the giclee print process and a selection
of work can be seen online at annebevan.com.
information about paintings, giclee prints or murals, please
contact the artist at 828.628.0915 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
FROM THE EDITORS: Sarah York, author of Remembering
Well makes reference to Anne Bevan's work in her latest
book Pilgrim Heart, the Inner Journey Home: "(Anne
Bevan) . . . . paints from nature on very large canvasses.
Her paintings, however, are not landscapes. You do not view
them; you are in them, intimately experiencing the subtle
shades of an autumn leaf, the misty spray of a waterfall,
the icy edge of a snow-rimmed creek or the simple statement
of a bare birch twig against December sky. As large as she
works, she does not give you the big picture. Or does she?
Perhaps what she does not give you is distance. The big picture,
it turns out, is in the center."