Anna Horsnell Wade has been painting for over 40 years. Since returning to her home province in 1988, she has been actively involved in the arts community leading various community art projects, co-founding several arts groups, writing about art, and teaching children. She exhibits regularly in group and solo shows, as well as various commercial galleries, and her paintings hang in collections across North America, including the Art Bank of Nova Scotia. She is an elected member of the Society of Canadian Artists, a past Board member of Visual Arts Nova Scotia, and in 2009, she was awarded a Progress Club Women of Excellence Award for Arts and Culture. Her work is featured in the books, Nova Scotia’s Contemporary Artists: Volume II, and International Women Celebrate!
looking inward for inspiration
From the beginning, painting has been a comfortable language with which to consider my place and time in life. Choosing how I learn about art, where and with whom is an ongoing self-led exploration. Though I began with landscape and figure work, I felt drawn to eventually look inward for inspiration. Abstraction is a constant challenge and yet I enjoy the intimacy and freedom. Tomorrow, I am open to opportunity, ideas and finding a purposeful meaning in whatever I create.
trusting the process
Over time my work has evolved to become abstract and non-representational, however I am not restricted by labels and allow the subject or idea determine the direction I will take in the studio. Creating the work is totally dependent on my trusting the process, letting go, and following my instincts and experience. I respond to the specific moment, until I understand where the painting wants to go. The impetus behind the work lies in the exploration of cause and effect using the support, the medium, and any tools at hand to that end. My source of influence is life in all its glorious, messy, ever-changing complexity.
an abundance of artists
I believe the biggest challenge to maintaining a visual arts practice which is self-sufficient in the Maritimes is the fact that we have an abundance of artists disproportionate to the number of art patrons—we do not have the population to support the amount of art we create. However, I accept that challenge to do my best work and seek out new markets, new collaborations, new ways to share my art. I have found the most satisfaction when the art serves a purpose or intent beyond itself. That was the case with my last project, The Sarah Diaries, which sought to increase awareness of the merchant marine industry.
a sense of community
I initially looked to VANS for the sense of community, but I soon gained from the resources provided including instruction, education, and exhibit opportunities. As a four year member of the VANS Board, I benefited from learning about the bigger picture across the province and the common needs served by the association, as well as the opportunity to contribute. I still believe VANS provides an important unifying role for artists in Nova Scotia and a valuable source of learning and opportunity.
The Sarah Diaries– voyages at sea
My most recent project, entitled The Sarah Diaries, was completed over the course of two years and subsequently exhibited in February 2016. Inspired by two voyages at sea aboard a working oil tanker, the Sarah Desgagnes, I created a series of ten large paintings and published a book with the intent to promote career opportunities within that industry and to establish a new scholarship for marine officers.
My next body of work is a new series of paintings commenting on age and the significance of number scheduled for a solo exhibit in November 2016.
Learn more about Anna Horsnell Wade and her artwork via her website, by visiting her Facebook page, or her VANS e-studio: