Anna’s interest in art began from the moment she could pick up a pencil. Born in Mauston, WI in 1985, Anna had a natural talent and left her mark on everything from paper to unfinished walls in the house. “I have fond memories,” she says, “of our house while my dad was still fixing it up, and my twin sister and I shared a converted attic for a room. Before we got carpet or wallpaper, we were surrounded by enticing surfaces of plywood and drywall, all begging to be decorated. So I happily left my mark everywhere I went; it was usually in crayon and ended up being a stretched-out Minnie Mouse, or a disproportionate horse.” Inspired by her grandfather, who started painting at the age of 70, Anna spent her free time as a child sketching from nature and poring over art books. Although she drew horses and other animals from a very young age, she began to draw people at the age of 10, when a childhood friend asked her to illustrate one of her story books. From there, her desire to capture likenesses expanded from portraits of celebrities to images of family and friends, always with a goal of making a portrait look exactly like the person conveyed. She sold her first professional portrait at the age of 12.
Anna was homeschooled all through high school, giving her the opportunity to focus on art. Her primary medium was colored pencil until she began classes at Hillsdale College, majoring in Art. There, she fell in love with oils and decided to focus her studies on painting. Her strong background in drawing helped her to launch forward in advanced classes such as figure painting and sculpture . Under classical instruction and rigorous technical training, Anna excelled in the Hillsdale art department, sweeping juried art awards every semester. She received a full scholarship for her senior year, allowing her to attend summer painting classes at the Florence Academy of Art in 2006. She was the first student in Hillsdale College’s history to have a solo senior exhibit, and she graduated in 2007 with departmental honors After graduating from Hillsdale, Anna moved to Madison, WI where she worked for a professional photography studio. While serving there as the head artist and marketing coordinator, Anna used Photoshop to retouch pictures, to create beautiful marketing pieces, and to design stunning artistic creations from a client’s images. Her skills in Photoshop and experience in photography allow her to have a better eye for how a picture or painting will turn out. She can piece together several images into one, so that the end result is a beautiful, well-balanced composition
Anna's style may be defined as classical realism. While true classical art attempts to idealize the subject, and realist art tends to emphasize flaws, she finds a balance between the two so that the essence of the person or subject is not lost. She says, "When I do a portrait I'm always searching for something beautiful and unique about that individual, and I try to bring it out. I also see God's hand in all of His creation, and because He said that it was good, I feel that what I am conveying in my art should also be 'good.' That being said, some things that we paint won't necessarily be 'beautiful,' but I still want my art to convey some sense of purpose and life." Anna believes that she would be wrong to be in any other profession. "Art is inseparable from me," she says. "The process, though, is one of give and take. When I am creating, I take from the subject a moment in time, but a part of me is also left behind on the canvas. I am captivated by those things that go beyond the surface, and I hope to convey this deep and abiding interest to everyone who sees my work."
"The biggest challenges for me, as an artist, have been gaps in my life where I didn't have time to paint. I really feel that art should be something I live and breathe every day in order to continue growing as an artist. I have to set deadlines and goals for myself. Sometimes I'll sit in front of my canvas and stare at it for a long time before I get to work, but eventually I muster up the courage to dive in. I'll decide to finish different sections of the painting at the start of each work day. Sometimes I make my goal, sometimes I don't - sometimes I exceed it...and that's when I've had a good day. Painting is truly a discipline, and a series of problem-solving. I love what I do; I have no regrets at all - I've had some great training, but I'll keep on learning for the rest of my life. I really feel that as an artist I'm living my dream and my lifelong calling . Anna now resides in Garland, TX with her husband, Steve. She paints full-time as a commissioned portrait artist, and participates in various art shows around Dallas and Fort Worth. She also attends regular life drawing and painting sessions with the Society of Figurative Arts in Carrolton, TX, and is an active member of the Portrait Society of America