A Room of Her Own: Ann Pickett’s “The Exuberance of Life” intertwines figure and environment

By: Haven Ashley

With movement, mystery, and appetite for life, the work of painter Ann Pickett intertwines the figure with its environment in “The Exuberance of Life” in the gallery now through April 7.

Laid Back by Ann Pickett

Created by Pickett’s unique brushwork, the abstract forms that emerge from her work are vivacious and lush, evoking feminine figures in her exploration of landscapes and domestic scenes.

In Sedona, one of Pickett’s landscapes, the rocky hillside tumbles into the curved silhouette of a woman; a true meeting of figure and ground.

Sedona by Ann Pickett

Filled with zest and light, her figures create rhythmic creatures, simultaneously emerging and retreating into the background. Affectionately calling the interior scenes “roomscapes,” Pickett’s figures find the perfect balance of eccentricity. Hearth becomes hipbone; a chair becomes a cheek. In Laid Back, the settee becomes the sitter.

A gestural painter, she works with acrylics, favoring their fast-drying nature that allows her to continually layer paint. “I need freshness and spontaneity,” she remarked. “I rarely mix my colors a second time.” Once unbottled, every shade becomes a unique moment in time, from apricot to rose, to her favorite Ann’s Blue.

The Art Patron by Ann Pickett

Pickett also notes that much of her energy, encouragement, and motivation comes from her instructors and peers at The Art League school. “The classes keep me painting. It’s so inspiring. It’s a great community.”

Ann Pickett is an award-winning abstract painter based in McLean, Virginia. With a 25-year career in graphic design, Pickett began painting abstracts in 2005 and received the Shayna Heiman Simkin Award in 2015. Most recently, Pickett has been featured in Elan Magazine in March of 2018.

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