Encaustic & Mixed Media Artist
Annie Darling was born in Chicago, Illinois. She grew up in South Portland, Maine and studied art, design and technology at the University of Oregon and the University of Southern Maine where she graduated with a degree in communications. Channeling her natural artistic talent into graphic design, she has enjoyed a distinguished career as a designer and art director, receiving international acclaim for her work. She has been painting and drawing since she was a young child.
As a child I was immersed in the visual arts: my father was a commercial photographer, my mother an interior designer, and my uncle a sculptor. My interest in art was fueled by their work, as well as frequent visits to museums and galleries. Each time I returned home after an outing I would recreate the images that had inspired me the most.
The creation of art provides me an opportunity for internal and external exploration. I use the creative practice as a way to process the world. As my hands move around the work, the gears in my head turn. The thoughts running through my mind at the time—challenges, fears, insights—all become shaped and processed while I work.
One of the pleasures I find in the creative process is the tactile experience. When I began drawing in colored pencil as a child, I loved the feeling of the pencil etching its way down the paper. When I started painting, I felt a similar passion as the brush stroked the canvas. In my current encaustic work, I am excited by the feel of the iron as it glides over the hot wax; and I appreciate the second tactile experience of the finished product.
Each piece I create is a one time event. I never know what the outcome will be until it is complete. My only objective is to learn how the process works for me; and why. Sometimes I inadvertently destroy a work by taking too many risks; venturing too far down a path. But while that piece may be a temporary failure, these investigations lead me to see more clearly what works and what doesn’t work—a process that brings joy and provides meaning to my work.