Annie Pluth VanEngelen was born in 1976 in Seattle Washington. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, on the shores of the puget sound, she has always been in love with the spirit of the water. She is a water baby and loves water in every form…clouds, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and especially the ocean. Currently a San Diego resident, Annie lives and works out of her Imperial Beach Studio, absorbing the amazing atmosphere and reflecting that energy back into the world.
Annie is long time industry veteran and master of art materials and special effects techniques. Her method combines a hyper-color realistic style with extreme perspectives and tightly illustrated details. Her focus is on feeling depth and light. You can feel the crushing weight of loss, the weightlessness of love, and the search for the light in every painting.
The magic handprint, Annie’s signature, is Love and Light made real. This is her way of pushing positive energy and healing love back into the world. Her handprint appears full size somewhere in every original painting. It holds a symbolic energetic representation of self. Annie is limitless in her talent for art, imagination, and love.
This new series of waves titled “In Between Dreams” is a last promise kept to a best friend and soulmate. Waves come in sets like lessons in life. “Sometimes the ocean can roll you…but every once in a while you get a ride of a lifetime…the kind that takes your breath away. In life lessons there are always learning curves. In this life the ocean chooses me…it is my heartbeat…my learning curve…this lesson has given me an appreciation for life, love, and adventure. A strength and dedication to not shutting down, but to shine, experience, and feel everything around me. I feel every drop of water, every stroke of paint, every crashing wave to my core.”
Annie Pluth VanEngelen Q & A:
AFA: What is your overall creative goal?
ANNIE: “I want to make the world the most beautiful inspiring place i can by putting my most creative, loving energy back into it.
Love and Light.”
AFA: Do you paint waves exclusively, or do you paint other subject matter?
ANNIE: “I’ve been painting for over 35 years and my passions drive my artwork. In the current series titled “In Between Dreams” I’m exploring ocean waves. I love living here in San Diego, CA and it’s a huge influence on my work. I drive up and down the coast taking photos, jumping through waves and chasing sunsets. I’ve been loving painting waves on the beach using ocean water. You can usually find me at the beach if I’m not in the studio.”
AFA: What (or who) has been your biggest inspiration in keeping your creativity energy going?
ANNIE: “This world is an amazing place. I am constantly fascinated by beautiful things. I try to appreciate everything, like smelling the flowers, walking in the sand and swimming in the ocean. I enjoy all that life has to offer and I have beautiful muses. I love color and the specialty materials I get to work with. My studio is amazing and full of love. I am truly lucky to have this life I’ve always wanted.”
AFA: Do you learn more about who you are through your creative endeavors?
ANNIE: “Absolutely, with every commission or series there is always a ton of learning involved. I don’t just mean the anatomy of the subject but the feeling, to evoke emotion with a piece of art I believe you have go deeper into your own heart and spirit. I create everyday, I never stop learning, imagining, dreaming…the more I create the more I want to…I’m constantly in motion wanting to experiment, to try the next thing, to make art.”
AFA: What was your childhood like? Do you think your experiences in childhood have influenced your present creative endeavors?
ANNIE: “I was born in Seattle, Washington. My family spent a lot of time at the beach on and near the water: boating, sailing, crabbing, fishing, swimming, playing…it has always been my favorite place. I’ve spent the rest of my life following my heart to the beaches on any coast I’ve been close enough to reach. My momma was an art teacher. I grew up with every art supply in her classroom at my disposal starting at about 3. I had new sets of everything at the beginning of each school year. I made samples and even taught a few of her classes as I got older. We painted together in public and at the beach and fairs. Today we still paint together. I’m the teacher…and she’s my biggest fan.”
AFA: In what setting do you prefer to create?
ANNIE: “The best setting for creation is love. I follow energy and usually my studio is at the beach, in a restaurant, or wherever inspiration takes me.”
AFA: What do you do to get into your creative zone?
ANNIE: “Step one…music
Step two…choose a surface
Step three…choose paints/mediums
Step four…choose brushes/tools
Step five…fill all buckets and spray bottles with water then…make art!!!”
AFA: If your artwork were edible, what would it taste like?
ANNIE: “Ha ha ha…sweet and savory…like chili mango.”
AFA: What ocean activities do you like?
ANNIE: “I love swimming, snorkeling, body surfing, paddle boarding, boogie boarding, kayaking, jet skiing, boating, sailing, walking in, driving by, and watching…the ocean.”
AFA: How is your personality reflected in your work?
ANNIE: “I’ve had friends tell me that especially in the waves, they can see my heart in my work and that my work is inspiring. I think you can read my paintings like waves of emotion. I really think you can feel when I was having a difficult day or if I was floating on air.”
AFA: What piece in the current 2nd Anniversary show would you buy?
ANNIE: “Hard decision! There is some amazing work in this gallery. My favorite painting in the show is Trust by Jennifer Hannaford.”Visit Artist's Page