Dreamer. Explorer. Wonderer. Painter. These are just some of the words used to describe artistic powerhouse Anneka Foushee. From the tobacco fields to the industrial warehouse, any place is made more exceptional by the presence of her brushes. She interacts with her media as though they are long lost lovers, reunited after years apart. She paints physically, emotionally and spiritually and her studio is a welcoming environment where love is in the air.
American Steel: What do you do?
Anneka Foushee: I am a painter and I hostess an intuitive, process painting group in my studio.
AS: Why do you do what you do?
AF: When I paint, I feel the most “awake” and in alignment with my true purpose for being on the planet. I don’t know where this path is leading me, yet there is a “rightness” to it. I tend to be an explorer in all aspects of life, so I try to find comfort in the unknown. I created the Journey Within Collective with an intention for painters to come together and go deep into the creative process in a supportive, contemplative environment.
AS: What was / is your inspiration?
AF: I came out of my mother’s womb dancing and I’ve always loved working with my hands whether it’s painting, drawing, building, or playing music. In 2008, I was introduced to a technique of watercolor painting, developed by Rudolf Steiner, called Veil Painting. Layers of color are applied atop one another until forms emerge. This process has a magical quality in my eye and informs my work to this day. In 2009, I began a 1.5 year study using only charcoal on newsprint with San Francisco artist, Michael Markowitz. His process is very spontaneous and physical in the pursuit of authentic mark making. We worked in a group setting “drawing” professional dancers and aspired to dissolve patterns of conditioning. I continued to search for teachers who would contribute to my development. Swiss-German artist Fredy Buchwalder encouraged me to be completely “free”… Working in his 15th century studio in Canova, Italy, he gave me the tools to do so. Immersions in nature and talks of the early abstract expressionists were welcomed fuel for the fire. Soon after, I developed a steady practice in my own studio, finding my way with various materials.
Sunsets, the works of James Turrell, Robert Irwin, Josef Albers, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, Clyford Still, Milton Avery, Richard Diebenkorn, Karel Appel, Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Hilma Klint, Primitive and Indigeneous art works, Dance, Music, and Life in General have inspired me to choose this path of expression. There is something about putting color on canvas or paper that is completely mysterious to me…
AS: What brought you to AmSteel?
AF: I moved to Oakland from SF in the Fall of 2012. Knowing I was a painter, an acquaintance recommended I check out AmSteel. Three months later, I somehow was able to rent a studio! I am intrigued by the “collective” experience, thus it seemed natural to be part of a large group of creative folk!!!
AS: What about being at AmSteel is good for your business?
AF: On my way to the studio, I love driving down Poplar street and seeing the enormous steel sculptures of Karen Cusolito. They remind me to ask myself “what else is possible?” and “how can I be more reverent in my life?” AmSteel’s built-in marketing team is an added bonus!
AS: What’s your favorite part of being here?
AF: I am proud to be included in this community. AmSteel is an integral part of the creative culture. Showing off the space to visitors is kind of kool too. 🙂
AS: What is your favorite thing that you are working on, a piece you created or class you taught?
AF: Launching this experimental, process painting group has been an opportunity for mind/heart/soul expansion. It’s been completely beautiful and humbling to luxuriate in the creative process with others in my studio. There’s so much truth being revealed.
AS: What advice would you give to someone, young or old, who wanted to start exploring art or wanted to go into it as a profession?
AF: Listen to the desires of your heart and follow your inner wisdom. Make life choices that are in alignment with your highest purpose. Be courageous. Be vulnerable by putting yourself out in the world. Be willing to make new friends. Make mistakes and learn from them.