BY BRIAN RIGGS
Annie Swarm Guldberg is the feature artist at Ft. Madison Area Arts Association this November bringing “Dreamlands and More” with her. This vibrant world of oil color and texture welcomes you in from the crisp cold, warming you with a style to cozy up to like a warm cup. Reception for Annie occurs November 9th from 5-7pm at 825 Avenue G. Sunnybrook of Ft. Madison is the sponsor for the exhibition. Annie will finalize the Lunch-ala-Art program year with a talk on November 30th at noon.
Annie has returned to her hometown of Mt. Pleasant after 16 years in Milwaukee. She graduated with a BA in Art from Wisconsin Lutheran College and worked in the printing/publishing industry. Like many from small rural towns, she gravitated back to her initial roots to raise her two sons with husband Nils. She offers art lessons in her studio in Mt. Pleasant. She loves the rich, vibrant color of oil. and Her love of painting, as well as encouragement from a wonderful art teacher, sent her to college for that source in the first place.
Annie has created her own wonderland environments based on Dreamlands, “Those places in our minds, dreams and hearts that are connected to reality or based on a real place, but filled with our interpretation. Adding vibrancy and fantasy with thick paint and bright colors, these are the landscapes we remember when we close our eyes.” For Annie the business always begins with the color, than texture, than subject matter. She reflects, “I always simplify shapes…it adds to the mystery, not just as you see it. It leads one to more interpretation.
As for the subject matter, she does use reoccurring symbols such as houses, chairs, and trees. For her the chairs are a little haunting, providing interpretation to thought or a mood, perhaps loneliness. The trees are her “people” and mean different things. “They can start to become their own characters”. The style has a whimsical quality that eludes to Dr. Suess- like tendency when you take in her new “Rooms to Think” series. These incorporate Annie’s rich color texture style, creating a room inside a box. The boxes are varied vintage style. Annie and her husband enjoy thrift store adventures and the box idea has emanated by an outing. It is a nice incorporation of two-dimensional painting into a three-dimensional environment. Viewing available all month Tuesday-Saturday from 10am-5pm.