Anita Loomis: Exploring the Poetry of Shape, Line and Color
We continue our series of blog posts to Introduce our new Core Artists. Anita Loomis talks about her inspiration and process below.
I am an artist who has changed gears…switched sides….migrated from one medium to another over time. I am a contemporary, abstract painter of oil and watercolor paintings, living and working in Webster Mass. Characteristic of my work are architectural and geometric shapes with personality; the incorporation of symbols; heavy, expressive line; and touches of gilding. I decided that I was an artist at age 13.
Art has always been a serious endeavor for me, and I’ve been practicing for 40 years so far. The impressionist painter Emily Boosahda was my art teacher throughout high school. She was an incredible teacher and a very strong influence. My grandfather was a sign painter and gilder who also encouraged my early artistic interests. Though I’ve enjoyed working with a variety of mediums, my initial focus beyond the basics was stained glass work; it is a fascinating medium. In 1989, I earned my BA in Studio Art from Framingham State College and opened a small glass studio offering custom designed window panels and lighting for residential projects. From 1995-2003, I was very fortunate to be the assistant to glass designer James Piercey in Orlando, FL. The studio, J. Piercey Studios, specializes in the contemporary design, fabrication and installation of monumental stained glass windows, mosaics and custom art and furnishings, primarily for newly constructed churches, hospital chapels and other public spaces. During my time at J. Piercey Studios, I learned a great deal about the important role art plays in our environments and how integral it is to our living and work spaces. I learned a thing or two about art and design along the way as well. It was a great privilege and rare opportunity to work with one of the top architectural glass studios in the world. However, in 2004, I had a strong urge to pursue another path, and while earning an MA in Arts Management, I went back to the basics; drawing and painting. I was very surprised at the change in my style; working in glass had greatly altered my perception of line, color and space. A line was no longer a mark on paper; it was a strip of metal to be molded in the hands: I don’t think of my paintings as flat.
I have painted in oils and watercolor since that time and enjoy the freedom and spontaneity of expression. I draw influence from many sources, artforms and painters. To name a few, Miro, Klee, and Mitchell. Old fashioned cartoon animation is another inspiration. I believe all forms of art are a worthy endeavor. In a way, I think of it as a public service, and my goal is to create artwork that speaks on several levels; through paintings that are joyful, intriguing, and thought provoking. Themes of my paintings vary. Communication and relationships are a frequent focus. Narrative compositions may tell a story about some aspect of work or family life; and sometimes the paintings are simply compositions that explore the poetry of shape, line and color.