Getting to know Southern Artist Anne Harwell of Annechovie

Annechovie is a favorite!

The well rendered watercolors of Anne Harwell caught my eye years ago.  I have followed her blog, Annechovie,  for quite a while.  I wanted to share more of this talented artist with you.

Commission for Ashley Whittaker

What is your training?

After school, I went to work for my parents who owned a home furnishings boutique at the time. I became interested in picking up a paintbrush and trying my hand at some watercolors and then I found I really enjoyed it. I took on a few commissions from customers and sold some pieces in the shop and then decided I wanted to pursue art more. As far as any formal art education, I have none (other than a 1 week art camp in 7th grade). I am pretty much self-taught. I've been through the school of hard work, close observation, long hours, trial and error and the passionate desire to create.

What inspires you and your art?
Personally, I am inspired by: my relationship with God, love from my family, support from other bloggers and a desire to continually seek out truth and people that are smarter, more creative, more mature, more innovative and "higher" than who/where I am now. 
Artistically, I am totally energized and inspired by color and living in a place where the light is spectacular and there is a great deal of natural beauty. I also am visually very inspired by blogs, design books, magazines, Pinterest and travel. I am a voracious collector of beautiful images that I gather from everywhere and curate in my head (and on my computer!)

What is your favorite installation of your work or piece?
 A recent work- "Patchouli Seas" as I have been dabbling with abstract painting and find it freeing because it's mostly about expression via color and not as much about form. (Photo attached)
How has the south influenced your work?
Years ago as a teenager I moved with my family to a small Southern suburban town that was very ugly (visually and otherwise) and a completely narrow and unstimulating place. Not exactly a hotbed of creativity or artistic stimulation of any kind. That influenced me strongly in that it made me crave beauty and a more open culture and be very sensitive to it wherever I saw it, like a starving person who comes across a crust of bread. Sometimes ugliness, stagnation and isolation from beauty or creative inspiration can amplify and nourish a desire for and appreciation for beauty, ingenuity and inspiration. In hindsight, I think it's exactly what I needed to develop and never take for granted what I have now. Kind of like having to kiss frogs before you meet your prince. In recent years, since I moved to South Florida and live in such a beautiful place in the South, I relish every day – the gorgeous climate, light, surroundings and people who are capable of accepting outsiders. The laid-back lifestyle and cheerfulness inspire me. My roots are Southern as far back as before the Revolutionary War, so I am sure certain Southern sensibilities definitely have an influence on my style, but I've also benefited from the diversity of living in the Midwest and the West Coast. I am convinced that travel and diversity help stimulate the imagination and make you more well-wounded, so I always embrace opportunities to see new places and meet different people.

What is your favorite restaurant?
D'Amicos in Naples, FL – authentically good food and great service without the airs and attitude.

What is your favorite cocktail?
Cranberry juice and Perrier

How do you balance personal life and work?
Not very well!  Because I work from home, I have a tendency to not have any set hours and the boundaries can get blurred. I tend to work and relax in spurts. My beloved Grandma use to have an old Southern saying – "When I works, I works, but when I sits, I sits." I can work like a dog, but then know how to chill when it's time for a break. I try to take some time out each day to get outside and exercise and will always make time for the important people and primary relationships in my life, no matter what.

Dream trip?
Hmm, this is very hard as I have a chronic case of wanderlust and could definitely go for a trip right now.  I guess I'd love to go to Spain and the South of France for about 3 months and just soak in the food, culture, art, architecture and climate. I'd store up photos and visual stimulation like a squirrel to ration out in inspirational "meals" for years afterward!

Dream commission?
Designing fabrics or getting a commission from someone I truly admire.

Your favorite hostess gift?
A beautiful potted plant or some homemade treat

Who is your style icon?
Lilly Pulitzer – she is chic, yet down to earth – her brand of style works for my tropical lifestyle. I hope I look as good as she does when I am her age!

Your favorite up and coming artist?
That is so hard for me to say, because there are so many different artists that inspire me, some whom I consider friends. I'd have to say I love what Lulie Wallace is doing – I think she is a brilliant colorist and her work is completely unique.
What is your most treasured possession?
My status as a child of God and the amazing future that promises! After that, my family and my computer.

A boldly colored abstract…

A colorful still life…
Love these matches…
What a great gift for your baker friend…
Dying for a Hermes Birkin pillow in orange…

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know Anne as much as I have.
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  • August 27, 2012

    Marshall Phillips

    Great post

  • August 31, 2012

    Anne is truly beautiful..her work, herself, her beliefs!  Thank you for featuring her.  I too love Lily Pulitzer Anne  : )

  • September 2, 2012

    Holly thank you so much for featuring my friend Anne. She has been a friend from the first days of our blogging!

    She has so much talent and I know she can accomplish anything!

    Art by Karena

  • September 11, 2016

    Anne is truly gifted…her use of color is divine! Hope I can purchase more of her artwork in the future to add to my Annechovie collection! It is a long winter in Maine and Anne’s colorful depiction of summer will get me through! thanks Anne! Best, Jane

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