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Anne Swannell

Drawing was my first love, (I started when I was four, and I don’t think a day has gone by since when I haven’t drawn something). I was born in London, grew up in a castle in North Wales, and emigrated to Canada when I was eleven. I finished high school in Calgary, and have lived in Victoria since 1959.

Most of my working life was spent in and and around various newspapers, working as a copywriter, layout artist, and graphic designer. I earned my degree in Fine Arts (Uvic, 1989) and. since then have written and illustrated four books. I also designed, wrote, and illustrated the 8-volume Art Foundations course currently in use by British Columbia distance learning students.

Now I spend a lot of time drawing and painting with our grandchildren and I have lots of fun playing with Bingo markers, gell pens, and the like, as well as the water colours, pencil colours, acrylics, and oil pastels I usually work in. In the last few years I have found myself attracted to working in three dimensions as well.

In 2000, for example, I made an 8-foot mosaic mandala for the aquatic complex in Sooke, BC. In May of 2002, I did an installation called “No Bed of Roses” for the Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa. I am also the mother of “Florca,” the black-and-white mosaic orca, purchased by The Royal Bank at the corner of Douglas and Fort in Victoria. (Check out the Public Art section and the Mosaic section for more on these.) I make Styrofoam sculptures too, using packing material as the starting-point.

Lately, my focus has been on mosaics. Please check out the mosaic pages for the latest developments.

I enjoy being a visiting artist for Victoria’s “Artist in the Schools” program, and have worked with kindergarten to grade six at James Bay Elementary and Monterey Middle schools for the past three years, as well as being a leader in the Unitarian Church’s Lismer’s Prodigies program for children.

As you will gather, I’ve tried many different media; in fact, I’ve worked with pretty much everything except oils, dung, urine, semen, and my own blood (except by accident)!

 

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