Anne Chanson

Squeeze bottles, droppers, syringes, spray cans that I can load up with my own mixed oils. Pieces of wood. My hands, squeegees, drywall trowels, rags--anything that can hold paint, I'll use. Drips collect in trays under the painting, and wind up poured over a canvas. Rollers, oil sticks, paint markers. I move super-fast. I'm listening to music, loud. It calms me. I load up a section of my canvas with a few colors of oil paint, drench them in mineral spirits, varnish, or linseed oil and watch the paint feather and run fast with the spirits and slow and steady with the varnish and linseed oil. I'm in a trance, maybe a meditation, maybe a full-body contact sport.


It's really not enough to say that my paintbrush is an extension of my arm. It's an extension of my history, of my ancestors. My grandmother painted Plein Air, her mother exploded with still lives and etchings, and her mother painted scenes of the her father's endeavors while they forged up the the west coast in the late 1800s. Still the history of female artists in my family goes even further back. They were all artists. I can't not paint.


I can't not paint but also I can't paint-- I'm doing something else. My mind goes elsewhere and there is no space or time. It is as if I am too focused to be aware and then I put down my brush and open my eyes and I have left a part of myself on the canvas. Relief, reprieve, release.


If you're not constantly experimenting with your art it's too easy to end up in a box
--Humans of New York


I painted landscapes for 16 years and then one day while half way through a piece I was working on, I put down my brush, grabbed the biggest canvas I had in my studio and started experimenting with abstraction. My abstract works still read as landscapes to me.


Large. The bigger the canvas the better. No, bigger than the canvas, beyond it, into the street. The sides of buildings are becoming the arena for my kind of controlled chaos. The biggest yet is 93' long x 8' high. Watch me. I've only started.


Painting without brushes... I can be as raw as I want, or need, to be with a giant abstract. Sometimes I even close my eyes; sometimes I feel the need to meticulously focus on the detail of it. In the end, I leave it to the viewer to interpret--internalize--it. Or sometimes I could go on forever in conversation about how every little part of it has meaning... Every bit of paint was intentional, meant something on its own, at the time whether I realized it or not.


My process is chaos; nothing is wasted. What doesn't make it onto one canvas becomes a part of another.



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