Annie Waters

Artist Statement: Annie has maintained an art studio in downtown Phoenix for almost 30 years where she works in acrylic painting and various drawing media. Her work is in private and corporate collections in Arizona, California, Georgia, Florida and Alabama.

Distilled plant forms, the remains of stems, buds, flowers and seeds, left to decay have been the main theme of her work. These elements are explored and examined in several series of drawings which spring from the artist’s intense love for subtly of color, expressive calligraphy of line, and a preference to create work that is about the beauty found in the discarded and the overlooked.

A review of her background must include the formative years spent in Alabama under the tutelage of her father whose dedication to the preservation of the rural landscape and waterways inspired in Annie a special gift for observation and exploration of nature. At age fourteen, she discovered the photographic work of Karl Blossfeldt in a first edition printing of his 1930’s Urformen der Kunst in the library at Auburn University in Alabama. The presentation of single iconic images of plant forms became a motif in paintings made in her teens and have continued to be an inspiration for her work over the years. The two summers before she graduated from high school were spent at Auburn where she was invited to sit in for University drawing classes. No programs were available for credit for high school students in those years but the experiences of working in advanced classes built a passion for the practice of making art, especially the practice of making drawings.

During this same time period, Annie received art training with Sarah Carlisle Towery, whose background of study at Black Mountain College encouraged in Annie a world view of art otherwise unavailable in the small rural community where she grew up. Towery studied with Hans Hoffman and Jean Charlot and traveled extensively in Europe and Mexico. This mentor’s approach to painting was the disciplined exploration of initial, spontaneous expressions of color and form. Towery’s studio and home were a haven for Annie’s young artistic mind. Classes were not only about making art, but thinking about, talking about, and reading about art.

Annie graduated from Auburn University, Alabama with a BFA in painting and drawing in 1966. After graduating with a MFA from Arizona State University in 1972, she embarked on a series of careers that included teaching, landscape design, gallery management, and for several years art consulting with her company Facets/Designs & Consulting that specialized in Corporate Art Collection Management.

A longtime resident of the Valley, Annie has lived in midtown Phoenix since 1978.