Painting California Coffee Table book

I am so thrilled to be included in this beautiful book of California paintings published by Rizzoli.  My painting of Santa Monica canyon can be found opposite a painter I have always admired, John Comer.  The icing on the cake is that the beautiful image on the cover was painted by my husband, Ian.  This all was such a dream come true for me.  The book can be found on Amazon.


The Power of Painting the Shadows: An Interview with Dan McCaw

Dan McCaw and Anne Ward in Studio

Artist Dan McCaw and me at his studio.

“There is always a challenge whether to do the safe, familiar and predictable or to search down a path that may lead you to a place that is closer to your true nature… a place that hides locked behind the fear of failure, humiliation and rejection.” Dan McCaw

To confront a person with their own shadow is to show them their own light.” Carl Jung
I’ve been working on a book for several years.  For much of my life I searched for “power” in all the wrong places.  After a life transition and subsequent health crisis, I became interested in the idea of better understanding power.   Its such a loaded word in our culture.  In its worst sense, it generally relates to people wielding it at the expense of others.  For me, as I’ve gotten older,  I find that true power resides in people who are aligned to their creativity and purpose in life…a connection within to their own true north.  My hope through interviewing friends, mentors and people who inspire me, is to inspire others to find the power of their own true north.

This will be the first interview in the series.  This is my friend, mentor and accomplished painter/author Dan McCaw.  I first ‘met’ Dan twenty years ago when I pressed my nose against the windows of gallery showing his work after hours.   His paintings, their beautiful shapes, design and color spoke to me without words and stopped me in my tracks.  Years later I was thrilled to meet Dan in person and stand in awe of the studio space he shares with his two sons who are also artists.   Over the years,  I got the privilege of observing the power of someone connected to their authenticity and creativity and living life from that place.  In that way, knowing Dan and his family has enhanced my life well beyond the realm of making paintings.  For that reason, I thought he would be the perfect person to talk about facing the shadow self.   Dan has done that in a series of paintings and during our talk he shared his valuable insights about acceptance, frustration, fear and courage.  I think his paintings illustrate a point and his insights are valuable beyond the realm of painters.

For more information on Dan and his work, please visit


5am butter. An ipad painting

For the past few years I have really enjoyed using the iPad to paint when I don’t have time to drag out the oils.  Yesterday morning, in the early morning hours, I did a digital painting of some butter from my fridge.  I love to use butter as a subject and as a means of better understanding yellow and its mysteries.

When Time Stood Still : Great Spruce Head Island

This year has been full of incredible opportunities for painting and travel.  In June, Ian and I were privileged to paint and stay in the island home of one of my art heroes, Fairfield Porter.  Years ago when I first encountered one of his paintings in a gallery in Maine, I felt I had discovered a great ‘teacher’.  He painted his life and the people in it using the language of simple shapes constructed with integrity and sincerity.   To me his paintings elevate the ordinary to the extraordinary in an authentic way.   Fairfield Porter passed away in 1975 but the family home on Great Spruce Head Island in Maine remains virtually untouched by time. Bowls that he used in his still life paintings are still in use, postcards pinned to the wall are still there,  the dictionary in one of my favorite of his paintings “Interior with a Dress Pattern” still rests on the same table.  So incredible!   His easel and remnants of paint can still be seen on the worn floors of the screened porch where he would have spent so many hours painting.   I can still hardly believe my great fortune to have stayed in the home and stood in the footsteps of Fairfield Porter on the island where some of my favorite paintings were painted!  Completely magical…which is why it seemed appropriate to title my first painting of it ‘dream’.   Here are a few of the paintings to have emerged thus far…plus one of Ian’s.

Dream,  24x30.   My first impression of the island.

Dream, 24×30. My first impression of the island.

This was the spectacular view from the house.

This was the spectacular view from the house.

We were lucky to have a chance to visit a neighboring island and the former home of Buckminster Fuller.

We were lucky to have a chance to visit a neighboring island and the former home of Buckminster Fuller.

Fairfield's Chair 20x24

Fairfield’s Chair 20×24

Interior of the house on the island.

Stonington 24x24 by Ian Roberts

Stonington 24×24 by Ian Roberts

Artist Focus: Anne Ward

Marcia Burtt Studio

Anne Ward, “Looking North,” oil, 25×23 in.

March 1 – April 21, 2013
Marcia Burtt Studio presents Artist Focus: Anne Ward, a group exhibition exploring color and pattern in glimpses of suburban life. Within these casual tableaux, Ward finds repeating forms and patterns, discovering examples of nature replicated in the manmade. Flowering tablecloths blend with cut blooms, an orange chimney plays off the fruit hanging on the trees. Her closeup still life paintings feature bright hues and impasto brush work.

Complementing Ward’s paintings and exploring similar themes and forms are works by Dana Hooper, Michael Ferguson, Patricia Doyle, Susan Petty, Ann Lofquist, Ian Roberts, Marilee Krause, Marcia Burtt, Jeff Yeomans, and Bill Dewey.

Anne Ward, “Orange Sunrise,” oil, 12×12 in.

Anne Ward, “The Wishing Tree,” oil, 12×12 in.

For more information, please contact

517 Laguna, Santa Barbara, CA 93101
805 962-5588

HOURS 1-5 Thursday through Sunday

Posted in Art

March update

Beach Arrangement

Beach Arrangement 16×16

I am thrilled to have an upcoming showing of my paintings at Marcia Burtt Gallery in Santa Barbara.  Many of the small still life paintings were done in our kitchen using fruits and vegetables grown in our yard.  Some of the paintings were done at the beach this summer with the kids in tow….I know they will thank me for it one day!  And a few of the paintings represent the fleeting moments of the kids growing up.  Here is a link to the show details.

Also exciting this month will be details of an online shop that I am launching.  I’m very interested in the idea of promoting centeredness and have created some products using my art to do so.  Stay tuned!!

Orange Sunrise

Orange Sunrise 12×12

me out painting

Gardening in the Season of Now

Gardening in the Season of Now

This week in our garden we pulled out our summer crops to prepare for winter.  I was struck the complexity of the uprooted plants, their tendrils and their reach.  I reminisced about the fresh tomatoes and cucumbers we’d enjoyed all summer.  It saddened me to realize that this season was over.  No more languid days with children, their laughter and squirt guns.  The brittle leaves had reconciled themselves to the passage of summer way in advance of me. It seems its not so different from being a parent.  With each new season one has no choice but to embrace and honor the new phase.  There is no time to bask in the harvest of last season.  The garden reminds me to appreciate now and the beauty of its fleetingness despite how much I would like to hang onto it.  So in that vein, I set up my easel in the center of the kitchen, in the middle of summer to try and capture some now.  The now of my husband reading the paper, the now of the beautiful light in our family room, the now of my daughter being 9 and playing on the computer .  The  process allowed me to feel as if I’d elongated the present and fully appreciated the beauty of this ‘now’.