Where am I from?
I have lived in beautiful western Wyoming since I was 12 years old. From my early childhood I always wanted to be an artist and that desire has remained strong all my life. My Father, Jonathan La Benne "the Bear Man" is a sculptor/artist and would often take the whole family with him wherever the next job happened to be. We home schooled and learned on the job training while meeting people all across the nation. My brothers and I worked under our father's guidance on his projects and in 2003 I got a business license and started taking on my own side projects.
Background in art:
My work experience includes various aspects of art, such as painting in acrylics, two dimensional wood carving reliefs, three dimensional wood sculptures and an introduction to clay sculpting at a workshop by Chris Navarro. I've enjoyed gaining these experiences, yet, something about painting holds the greatest intrigue for me. After marrying and having kids, my strong desires for painting were finalized and my direction confirmed when I realized that I could both paint and school my children, but it's pretty hard to school children while carving and working power tools. Though I had created paintings for many years previously I redirected my art path fully towards painting around 2016. A combination of independent studies, online classes and in person artist workshops have been my education. Some of the western artists whose instruction I've been grateful to receive include Charles Dayton and several of the Cowboy Artist Association (C.A.A.) members such as Chad Poppleton, Grant Redden, Loren Entz and Bruce Greene. I am glad to have received helpful critiques from C.A.A. artists Jason Rich and Clark Kelley Price as well as feed back from my artist family. (We all bounce things off each other from time to time. It keeps us growing and improving) As iron sharpens iron so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend! There's always more to learn and I hope to never stop! My education continues...real life, real experiences, hands on.
Methods and techniques:
I paint in acrylics and occasionally in watercolors. For me there is a thrill in seeing a blank canvas ready to be brushed with color! There's an excitement in watching light and shadows dancing to life and a flat surface taking on the appearance of dimension! My acrylic techniques involve layering, glazing, wet on wet, dry brushing, scumbling, scrubbing, spattering, sanding...really whatever is needed to get the desired effect. I start by laying in a rough sketch to get some landmarks, followed by a blocking in of the basic shapes adding mid-tones, shadows and highlights. It's a game of pushing and pulling, playing with the values and colors to direct the viewers eye movement over the piece.
What inspires me?
“A SPARKLE OF LIFE”
A sparkle of life, a gleam in the eye,
Rays of the sun christening the sky…
Deep searching blues in rivers below,
Mountains majestic with fresh fallen snow.
The scream of an eagle piercing the air,
Such marvelous pictures how can I not share?
Such spectrum of colors and awe striking scenes;
Galloping horses and glistening streams
To open my eyes and take in the sights
Floods me with wonder and so with delight
I take up my paintbrush admiring the One
Whose handiwork shines, bright as the sun.
No one can match the extent of His hand,
When He touches canvas the outcome is grand!
My hope and desire, the dream of my life
Is to be a reflection of the Lord Jesus Christ.
by Ann Newby © 2006
Getting out in nature, with my camera to collect reference material. Horses! (My first love)! The western way of life and horsemanship events, wildlife, nature (especially the mountains) and people are where most of my inspirations come from. I love the positive relationships that develop person to person, animal to animal, person to animal. I hope to capture the exchanges of emotion and enrichment these interactions bring to our lives. Growing up we always had horses, a dog or two and random animal friends; raccoons, ferrets, birds, cats etc. Apprenticing with my Dad often included working for wildlife parks and our family was allowed backstage access to the animals including handling and studying young bear cubs! This was a thrill, as you can imagine, which further fueled my appreciation for wildlife and animals in general.
The best of all worlds for me is the enjoyment of God's creation! Sometimes with a furry friend. Sometimes with a two legged friend. Sometimes just me and God; to observe in silent wonder His master artistry. I see His handiwork in all it's grandeur and I'm amazed that inspite of how small mankind is and how often we mess things up, yet "His delights were with the sons of men" and daughters! ;D His delights were with Human Kind. " ...the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who has established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited..." Isaiah 45:18,19 He delights in relationships with us! Knowing a good designer makes the design even better. Knowing an artist can make their art even sweeter, and knowing God makes His creation that much more appreciated.
Where my art is going:
To collectors across the U.S. including private collectors, ranches, restaurants and resorts. It is during my daily observations or photography that I gleen inspirations to one day be used in a painting. This was the case for the Mule Deer Buck that I entered in the Wyoming Game and Fish Conservation Stamp Competition. It was YEARS before I painted from those pictures, but when it came about, it was one of those things that Providence just meant to be. For 2019 my "Sunny Siesta" painting was honored with first place in the competition. The original now hangs on permanent display in the Wyoming Game and Fish Head quarters in Cheyenne.
I enjoy meeting my collectors and dealing direct with them. I sell art via shows and events and work on custom commissions throughout the year. It keeps me happily busy and I trust that it keeps my collectors happy as well. Perhaps one of these days our paths will cross and you will be blessed with an artwork, or vision of a possible painting, that speaks to your heart. Until then, I wish you good health and happy trails!