Artist Spotlight + Inside the Artist Studio of Anne Blenker

Visceral, Breathing, Layered.

These are the three words Anne Blenker chose to describe her work. Catching up with Anne about her new series ‘Botanicals’ was like peeking through the overgrowth of an ivy vine into a secret garden of curated works. Keep reading to learn more about her process and latest collection!

“What is a landscape? Earth, water, sky. In this piece I take these elements from aerial maps to create this abstract landscape. The process begins digitally where I collage the shapes together in Photoshop and then I render the painting by replicating my layers into paint.” – Anne Blenker

Anne found her love for nature growing up outdoors in California, but has called Louisiana home for over a decade. After leaving Pratt Institute in New York City, she began to pursue her own artistic voice, which led her to an interest in topography and natural systems. She began to make colorful abstract paintings using the shapes, textures, and colors of aerial photos to inspire her work. Her new series ‘Botanicals’ is a reflection on the New Orleans landscape.

Anne Blenker’s creative space at The Corner Studio near Bayou Road in Mid City.

So what inspired you to make this new work?

After returning to New Orleans from a short stay in New York, I fell back in love with the unique ecology and natural fabric of the city. The city’s subtropical climate fosters a lush green landscape with oak-lined streets, flourishing palms, and surrounding swampland. In the newer series I wanted to pull more specifically from this region and introduce mixed perspectives that are more psychological than aerial, incorporating plants, topography, and features that make New Orleans different. 

Tell me more about your process?

Each painting in the series features different views of the region’s subtropical ecology and urban landscape. My design process dissects elements of the surrounding swamplands and scenery and collages them back together. I layered each feature atop the previous, cropping and obscuring what came before. This emulates the natural and artificial processes of change in landscape over time.

Follow Anne Blenker on Instagram to see more of her works in progress! @anneblenker

And how does the Mississippi River play a role?

The river plays a main character in the historic drama of New Orleans. It’s the most important geographic feature in the region and the lifeblood of the people here. By collaging together these native elements of Southern Louisiana, I celebrate the beauty of living with these natural features and consider how our modifications to natural systems, including levees, navigation canals, and drained wetlands will portend for the region’s health in the long run.

You can see these works and more at her solo exhibition, ‘River of Palms’, at Brand New Orleans Art Gallery. The opening reception is July 12th, 6-9 p.m. which will be a tropical party with food, drinks, and music.

Explore Anne’s collection and read her full Question and Answer session on her Artist Profile!