Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Anna Magruder

In Portland, creating art. No place I’d rather be, but it took me a while to figure that out. I was born in Dallas, Texas and spent my early years in various parts of the desert southwest before settling in Allen, Texas, where I completed my primary education. After high school, I headed off to college at the University of North Texas to major in graphic design with a minor in philosophy, taking a detour to explore life in Los Angeles and Palo Alto. After graduating from college, I traveled and worked as a graphic designer, moving from Texas to Colorado and eventually migrating North to Portland where I opened my own graphic design business in 2005.

In 2009, I decided to take a leap of faith and leave the routine and security of my design business to focus on what’s become my passion—oil painting and illustration. My favorite subjects are people and animals and whatever lies between. Drifting between realism and surrealism, I love recreating vintage America, reimagining the lives and stories of strong women, capturing the dormant kookiness or sweet serenity of a local cat, or just exploring the emotional color of faces in the crowd.

For me, art is as much about building community as it is about process and refining technique. I take every opportunity I can to get out and see what others are doing at art openings, local festivals, craft shows and galleries. And I try to do my part to build community, whether by hosting a small artists group, attending other groups or helping organize and promote craft shows. I also love thrift stores and everything vintage, hanging with my cats Sesame and Juneau, and listening to my husband talk on and on about all things cycling.

1 comment:

  1. The description of this event contains a couple of factual errors which I feel obligated to correct if we Americans are to be truly creative with Tarot. While it's true the earliest Tarot cards appear in the 15th century, we have no evidence they were used for spiritual purposes before the 18th century. Long before being used for card reading, the Tarot was used for a type of card game still played in continental Europe. I fail to understand the point of denying the existence of this other Tarot culture and mislead people into believing that Tarot cards are exclusively used for cartomancy or spiritualism.

    I should also point out that the basic symbolism of the cards has not always remained the same. Although most Americans are not yet familiar with them, there exist Tarot cards with the same suit signs as our poker decks and contain quite different symbolism than the ones Americans normally used for divination. The problem with American Tarot art is that too many artists are only familiar with decks such as the Rider Waite Smith Tarot and are only familiar with Tarot as an instrument for divination and I believe this cripples our ability to innovate.