"Panache" could be a word invented to describe the work of painter Anne Blair Brown. A former chef whose stylish, painterly works are often set in cities, or in restaurants and cafes with their attendant glittering glasses and bottles, and bustling waiters and patrons, the paintings appear as fascinating glimpses into a busy and glamorous world. "My work is the product of years of intense observation of people and places. I have always found fascination in what seems ordinary: a chance meeting of friends, a couple enjoying a meal together or a street bustling with people. We can learn so much by just watching and listening. With my paint brush I translate these subjects for the viewer and my goal is to evoke curiosity and draw them into another world just for a moment."
A graduate of the University of Georgia and Watkins College of Art & Design, Brown became a professional artist after years of working as a chef. At some point in her cooking career she began to realize that she needed another creative outlet and returned to her previously abandoned endeavor, painting. It took courage to interrupt a successful career as a chef and make the change to working as an artist. Brown credits her husband for encouraging her to quit her job and paint fulltime - "the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me."
Anne Blair Brown is an active member of the Chestnut Group, a nonprofit group of artists dedicated to preserving endangered ecosystems, historic locales, and aesthetically or environmentally significant places. After years of living and working in San Francisco, Brown now lives and maintains a studio in Nashville, Tennessee. She enjoys painting outdoors, "en plein air" but also paints in her studio from photographs. When working from photographs, she feels it's critical to "have sipped the wine and smelled the aromas of the café I am painting."
Her paintings are beautifully drawn and painted with splash and verve, with large, sweeping brushstrokes that suggest a great deal of detail that is, in fact, only suggested. The truth is more like a dynamic weaving of strokes, both strong and self-assured, that communicate with suggestion all that needs to be said. The concepts of Brown's compositions and her playful painting titles belie a wit that is uniquely her own. For Anne Blair Brown, "Confidence is the most attractive quality anyone can have." Her bold canvases exude confidence in abundance.
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