Selective Focus: Kathy Johnson Anscomb

Artist Kathy Johnson Anscomb has used the new perspective she had during the pandemic — stuck inside, looking out the windows at the same view day after day — and turned that into inspiration for new work this year. This week in Selective Focus, we hear how this series came to be.

KJA: Lately I’ve been painting with acrylic or ink on canvas, I’ve also been having a flirtation with watercolor and have some new things on the back burner. I’ve worked with acrylics for more years than I will tell, but going way back to junior high when my ninth grade art teacher got me interested in art. It was all about abstract art when I was in the art department at UMD in the 60s, and I’ve loved the freedom and simplicity of working in that style since.

“Windows”, Series 2, #10, 12” x 12”, ink on canvas

I painted on and off for many years, but haven’t taken time to really concentrate on painting until last March, when the stay at home order offered me the perfect opportunity, and actually gave me a theme or perspective for a starting point. Most of these paintings are from the “Windows” series.

“Windows”, Series 3, #7, 24”x 48”, ink on canvas

As the days indoors continued, I spent time looking outside, which gave me the idea for the rectangular shape window, and later, the white window pane effect. The series of identical shapes in row became a sort of calendar where each day is defined by its dimensions, but varied in content. What started out very abstract became more representative as the days progresses into fall where the bright trees became the focal point.

“Windows”, Series 4, #11, 14” x 11”, acrylic on canvas

Paintings can be seen at Lizzards Gallery and Two Loons in Duluth, Joy & Co. in Grand Marais, Art on the Planet in Superior, and MidModMen in St. Paul.

“Windows”; Series 3, #12×12”, 10”x10”, ink on canvas

“Windows”, Series 2, #14, 17” x 24”, ink on canvas

“Intersections”, 8” x 8”, ink on canvas

“Connections”, 10” x 10”, ink on canvas

“Windows”, Series 4, 8” x 10”, acrylic on canvas

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