Anne Garton

I am a Canadian-born painter who has lived and worked on Cape Cod for over thirty years. My work is in the tonalist or luminist tradition, which aims to create mood and sensuality through a poetic, often brooding, rendering of the natural world. My paintings reflect both the influence of these long-established traditions as well as the powerful effect of my northern artistic roots.

My art is all emotion, minus sentiment. I shamelessly struggle to create beauty without replicating its source, i.e., nature in the raw. With nature as the designer, my job as an artist is to register my own emotional response as truthfully as I can. I am interested in what nature is as much as in what nature does, for it is always on the move. It is emblazoned by weather and change. Fog covers the landscape and then lifts. Seas and tides rise and fall. Snow turns the world white and then becomes ice and then melts. Rain blots the landscape, storms electrify the sky, marshes fill and recede, change color with the seasons, all while the sun rises and sets. This is what the natural world puts on offer for any artist.

As artists, we develop not only the power of observation, but the power to invent. And we draw upon memory, our secret weapon. Only through direct experience with place and using our unique toolkit are we able to evoke a potent response, which is the point of landscape art. For landscape to be anything other than decoration, it must touch the part of us that yearns for our given place on the land. It seeks to restore the beauty and necessity of our natural inheritance, remembered from our collective past. I paint only a landscape in which I am intimately involved.

In my Cape Cod paintings, the horizon is my artistic lifeline and spiritual geography. It is the stage where nature puts on her finest show. My approach is to place myself on the edge of a viewing platform or, in some instances, to fly over it, or perhaps to view it through a murky glass. My goal is to create a tension between the intuitive observer and the painted landscape, so that the viewer participates emotionally in the silent space of each work of art. From my home on the outercape, as if on an island, I move easily from the shifting tidal flats of the bayside to the windswept outer reaches of the ocean; from sunrise over the sea to sunset over the bay. I experience the effects of weather on this natural stage and weather is often my sole subject.

I am attempting, like so many artists, to capture the sublimity of the natural world. But I aim to capture, as well, a universality of spirit, which enables me to reach beyond locale into the human void. I wish the viewer to experience the full force of the world’s emotional content and context through my work. I wish them not to forget what they have seen.Anne Garton

Anne Garton studied illustration at the Ontario College of Art in Toronto in the mid 60’s where she was exposed to the famous Group of Seven landscape painters of the 30’s and 40’s. Their influence on her work is evident today, especially in her choice of the post-impressionist landscape as her subject.

Anne has exhibited in numerous juried shows, including the prestigious Northeast show at the Cambridge Art Association, juried by Nicholas Baum, chief Curator of the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Winter Juried Show at the Duxbury Art Association, The Winter juried show at the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod, The RED Biennale at the Cambridge Art Association, as well as several members’ juried shows at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.