Mentor Anne Packard

American Contemporary Artist

Anne Packard

Anne Packard and I first met in the historic streets of St. Augustine in 2011. She was exhibiting her one-woman show at the Cutter and Cutter Brilliance in Color Gallery.

Anne Packard in her studio, Cape Cod. MA 2012

Mentors Artist, Claire J. Kendrick

Anne Packard and I first met in the historic streets of St. Augustine in 2011.  She was exhibiting her one-woman show at the Cutter and Cutter Brilliance in Color Gallery.  We had an immediate rapport because we have one thing in common—-painting…….and it consumes our lives!  This year Anne invited me to her home in Provincetown, Cape Cod, to stay with her and paint for ten days.  While there I also studied with her daughter, Cynthia Packard, which was a huge learning and high energy experience.  It has been a gift to be mentored by Anne.  She also knew that Cynthia could push me and help me grow as an artist.  I was blown away by the experience!  This year marks tremendous growth in my work and I credit this growth to the time spent with Anne and Cynthia.

Cynthia was passionate about paying attention to the four edges of the canvas, strong composition, and considering the whole painting.  This concept was taught to her by her mentor, the late Fritz Bulman, American Abstract Expressionist.

Anne brings to her work an instinct and skill drawn from a deep family well of American and European painters. A third-generation Provincetown painter, her grandfather, Max Bohm, was a leading turn-of-the-century impressionist painter. Max came to Provincetown in 1916 with many other European and American artists.  Her grandmother, great aunt, uncle and mother were also respected painters.  An artistic vein runs strongly in her family and continues with her children.  Finding artists whose work you admire and respect is everything…..finding that they will work with you is overwhelming!

Anne complimented some of my paintings that were hanging in the Worley Faver Gallery in 2011.  It is a huge honor for any artist when your painting speaks or evokes a reaction……it’s a confirmation and validation that something’s there———–a spark to ignite! Working with Anne in 2012 was essential as experienced eyes can see faults and weaknesses in our painting. The key to learning is to stay open, to hear the suggested fix. I was prepared to roll up my sleeves and work from the gut….face the grit, have thick skin and be prepared to hear the truth! Oh, by the way, they can be a dynamic duo and hard task masters!  The pearls of wisdom only happen if you’re prepared to put up with a little grit in the shell.  The life of an artist is a solitary profession. Once in a while you find another artist who will help and encourage you. Who will offer advice? That advice is only useful if you truly respect the work of the artist who offers it.

Over the ten day stay, too many books to read were thrust in my direction…….”read this, “oh, you will love this”, “when you get time have a look at this”! The “must try” product list was growing by the day. A savvy I-Pad user, Anne quickly types in a name…..have you ever seen such plagiarism! Entertaining and heated topics such as marketing, galleries, travel, and new paint products, famous artists both living and deceased were debated every evening. Life, love, and art, talked and stories shared……..this has been a special experience and one I treasure.  Painting is a lifelong quest and at 80 years of age Anne is passionate and dedicated.  I was struck and impressed that her daily quest is to improve her craft as an artist.

Painting can be one of the most heart-breaking and rewarding professions. Anne and Cynthia taught me that “the struggle” is a natural part of the process for a painter. They also taught me about stamina, discipline and fearlessness……the importance of bringing emotion, depth and passion into your work……….and that every brush mark helps define your creative style and helps you find your voice as an artist.

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