| Kudos - the Good Life -
By PHILIP WRIGHT
|Sedona artist Anni Adkins chases light. When she
catches it, she gives it form with canvas and oil
Staff photo by Philip
ANNI ADKINS creates artworks in oil paint that
virtually defy characterization as either realism or
abstraction; the paintings can be viewed as either, or both.
Here, she works on a large-scale flower blossom in her Sedona
studio. Adkins said she actually sculpts her paintings by
using many layers of oils.
It is something
for which she has been searching and preparing most of her
life. Here, in the Southwest, Adkins says "I have found my
Currently at work on large-scale landscape and
contemporary flower paintings, Adkins' experience in realism
and abstraction have found harmony in nature. She paints her
subjects realistically but up close and out of context, and
the result is a stunning interpretation of natural beauty. Is
it realism, or abstraction? Yes.
Adkins began preparing
for the discovery of her art when she was a small child. In
third grade her teacher used to let her sit off by herself and
draw with Crayons. When she was between the ages of 10 and 12,
she found inspiration from comic books, but not in the same
manner most children do. "I'd sit with a stack of comic books
and draw all day long," Adkins said. "I'd copy them from the
front page to the last."
At 13, Adkins entered an art
competition sponsored by the American Red Cross while she was
attending an American Military School in France. She won first
place and was awarded a full scholarship to L' Ecole De Beaux
Arts in France.
After working in display art for major
department stores in Florida for several years, Anni and her
second husband, photographer Joe Hoover, started a modeling
and advertising agency.
layered technique brings amazing life to the unique light of
swirl in Antelope Canyon.
It was during that
time that Adkins started creating photorealism
When her daughter, Kori, left home, Adkins
was ready for a change in her art. "I finally got tired of
working in black and white," she said. "I came home one day
and started doing abstracts with bright colors. But after a
while I found it very lacking."
Adkins and Hoover left
Florida in a recreational vehicle. "We went on a search for
art," Adkins said.
That search eventually took Adkins
and Hoover to New Mexico. "We stayed in Santa Fe for a couple
of months, trying to find studio space and taking lots of
photos," she said. When they couldn't find studio space, the
couple headed to Texas. Hoover started photographing Carlsbad
Caverns, and Adkins was intrigued by the potential of those
photographs as subjects for her art.
"That was the
beginning of me finding my art," Adkins said.
and Hoover opened an art gallery in Dallas. But most of her
paintings had sold, so they ran the gallery by selling the
works of other artists. Adkins said that although she felt she
had found what she'd been looking for, she knew she couldn't
spend the rest of her life in the caverns.
McCullough, an abstract expressionist, told Adkins, "You've
got to go to Sedona. You'll find your art in
She followed McCullough's advice. "I was so
overwhelmed by the light, I didn't paint anything for the
first six months," she said.
Then she saw photographs
by Michael Fatali of Antelope Canyon. "I said, 'Oh my God,
that's it,'" she said. "I decided to let my work flow wherever
it will. After all, art is about development."
then on, I've just been trying to get enough painting together
to show," Adkins said.
That isn't always easy when
collectors are trying to purchase her work. "I've been trying
not to sell for five years, trying to get enough together to
exhibit," Adkins said. She does sell smaller originals and
many prints, mostly through the Internet. "I sell quite a
bit," she said. "Also, other people on the Internet rep
But mostly, Adkins stays busy sculpting her works
with layers of oil paint and going out after the light. She
delights in living and working in the Southwest, and she has
no intention of moving.
"I'm in Sedona to stay," she