The Colorful Roots of Anne Nye
"The Colorful Roots of Anne Nye." Off the Easel Magazine. Fall 2010: 19.
Many great artists have created work that reflects back to his or her roots, or represents a visual experience from childhood that has left a great impact on the individual. Artist Anne Nye is one of those artists—originally from the Pacific Northwest, Nye’s art was profoundly shaped by the majestic beauty and color of the landscape from which she was raised. The artist recalls, “Trees were a wonderful part of my growing-up years—from the tall cottonwoods of my grandparents’ home in southern Idaho, to the golden aspens in Sun Valley, to the delicate tamaracks in northern Idaho— each visual memory formed a wonderful backdrop for my childhood and my art.” Anne Nye grew up as the only daughter of a “struggling artist” in a time and place where career choices for women were severely limited, especially within the arts. At that time, her dream of making a living as an artist seemed unobtainable, yet she tenaciously pursued it by completing coursework for a bachelor of fine arts degree at the University of Idaho and California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, California.
Prior to working with glass, Anne Nye started out as a painter, giving her a strong understanding of color and composition. She has perfected her own “painterly style” in her fused glass art of shading and contouring, with layers of transparent and opaque finely-crushed glass. Nye believes that all of her life experiences come together in each piece of art she creates. Whether it is a golden aspen grove in glass, a richly painted sunflower, or a group of trees with a sunset, “My work, like life, is about layers,” she shares. “Color over color and glass over glass, transparency over opacity. Just as life layers joy over sorrow, today over yesterday, I lay down a patch of blue over brilliant orange, letting a little of it peek through like a sweet secret told on a sum- mer’s day remembered in winter.” Though the beauty of nature is Anne Nye’s muse for the majority of her work, she sometimes strays into the world of whimsy and design. A recurring theme is music and dance, used as a metaphor for the life of women. She explains, “It’s like we are a chain of experiences through generations, learning from each other in the past, hoping together for the future and influencing one another in the now as we continue to pursue our dreams.” A variety of Anne Nye's work is available at Exclusive Collections Galleries in San Diego.