Anne Popperwell Paintings

The “Luminous Horizons” series features images drawn from the islands in the Salish Sea where I have lived for many years. I am drawn to paint the particular light here, to still for a moment its ephemeral and transitory beauty.


Light has symbolic meaning; light is our first and primary experience as well as perhaps our last. Light informs our sense of time and place. We often respond emotionally to a particular light; we have associations with and memories of light in both our waking and dreaming lives.


As this series grows, I’ve simplified the composition to create interplay between abstraction and figuration, stasis and motion, matter and light. Always the light.


Anne Popperwell 2021



I work in a series of paintings, painting variations of one subject over several years, which gives me time to explore ideas and experiences in depth and to understand what I find compelling

Some subjects, like flowers, I go back to again and again; their beauty, in all its’ variety still enchants me.

I make drawings, take photographs and more recently, I make small pastels to use as reference material in my studio.

I often study natural history in relation to my work. In this way I have learned I live on the bed of an ancient river, now ocean, that sandstone formations run the coasts of North and South America and that there were flower trading routes in antiquity between Egypt and Rome.

Mine is a lifelong dedication to the practice of painting and the exploration of beauty. I study the history, anthropology and philosophy of art and beauty to deepen my practice and understanding. 

I wrote the following essay to accompany my 2009 exhibition at the Casa Dahlia Galeria in Mexico:


What is the nature of beauty? 


 “The Greek philosophers believed that the soul before entering life contemplates beauty, it cannot behold truth or God, but it can behold beauty and remembers the vision when it sees individual beauty in this life. 


Later philosophers have described beauty as truth, as light that manifests being, as harmony and unity, as a force reconciling the finite with the infinite.


The experience of beauty is at once sensual, being a perception of the senses and contemplative, engaging the mind and mediating the realms of the sensuous and the rational.


I made these large paintings of tropical flowers with their extravagant color and sensuous form in this spirit, to celebrate beauty and to inspire joy.”   

Anne Popperwell 2009












Welcome to Anne Popperwell Paintings.


I have felt compelled to make art and express myself through images since I was a child. In my late teens it occurred to me that I could make art my life’s work and I began to study and work in earnest. I have been painting and exhibiting my work for over 25 years.


My true love is to paint the natural world, to make an equivalent of my experience of its stunning beauty. I’m particularly interested in the qualities of light and my paintings are well known for their luminosity.
I work in both watercolor on heavy watercolor paper and acrylic on canvas. Watercolor is wonderful for its inherent subtlety, transparency and luminosity but it does have size limitations. Working in acrylic gives me the freedom to work on larger pieces, which I love.


My paintings in both acrylic and watercolor are created using thin layers of color that I build up; the very darkest areas of my paintings may have 30 or 40 layers of color.

I developed my style of painting through considering the subject of my first major series of paintings, seaworn sandstone rock formations. I choose to work in watercolor, found paper that had a similar texture to the stone, worked with earth pigments in layers of color, all to create connection to the subject for myself and the viewer. As I worked, I became fascinated with the forms of the stones, the lines and patterns and the curves and hollows.

Although now I am working with different subject matter and in another medium as well, this process and these considerations still inform my style today.






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