Born in London,
England, I lived there until 1990 when I came to live in the San Francisco Bay
area with my husband, a bio-chemist at UCSF Medical Center. In 2000 we both
became US citizens.
I took up painting in 1991, after being a teacher of Literature all my working life. It's never too late to learn something new. Within 18 months I was exhibiting landscapes in local juried shows. Self-taught at that stage, I decided there was a lot to learn, so I attended evening classes at the College of Marin for 3 years, greedily lapping up Art History, Painting, Watercolor, Materials and Techniques, Color Theory, Drawing and Design. Meanwhile I got my own studio and experimented with all kinds of different media and broke all the rules I could! Pretty soon I was an abstract expressionist, inspired especially by volcanoes. Luck always seemed to be on my side: I was offered a couple of solo shows and my paintings began to sell without too much effort on my part. At that stage, I was ignorant enough to think that life would always be that easy.
Six years ago, after participating in dozens of juried shows and becoming known as an abstractionist, I stopped taking classes and closeted myself in my studio to 'find myself' as an artist. Eventually I came up with the idea of making the connection between my career as a teacher of literature and my career as an artist: I began to paint Shakespeare. Not the man, but his characters. I produced a large series of dramatic figurative paintings entirely from my imagination. People liked them. Then I thought how wonderful it would be to incorporate excerpts from his plays into the imagery, and my text-and-image collages were born. I had several solo shows of these works in the Bay Area and continue to come up with new ideas every day. I've produced quite a series of Proust works related to "A La Recherche du Temps Perdu" which I had to read in college when studying French. My preference is to paint large, although I still do small works on paper as these are more affordable.
In June 2001, after finally giving up my job as an English teacher, I became a full-time artist. This gave me the time to experiment with a new medium: I took up encaustic painting on wood panels and had to alter the entire layout of my studio to allow for adequate ventilation while I work with melted wax. My work has become more and more abstract, but still contains fragments of text.
Life as an artist is never dull, though it can be demanding and very unpredictable. In order to make a steady income I now divide my time between teaching abstract art on an ongoing basis at Art Works Downtown in San Rafael, workshops in Collage and Art Marketing all over the place, including Mexico, Canada, and U.S.A., and , most importantly, painting. Despite the downturn in the economy over the past year, my work continues to sell well. I consider myself fortunate to be doing what I love AND making money.
Ann Baldwin -
Sausalito Art Gallery
Art Festival & Exhibits
Baldwin Web Site |