Anne Farley Gaines

Strangers on a Barren Shore
3 x 9.5 x 7.5 in.

Although I have been an experienced painter for four decades, I have delved head-first into clay in recent years. My original motive in learning how to create ceramic works was to add an interesting 3-D element to the large mosaic and painted murals that have become a ‘trademark’ in my production; however, I began to find that clay allowed me to “say” things that I could not always express as effectively in paint. For example, with clay I feel that I can be more sensual, expressive and metaphorical in my nature-based works. Clay has also allowed me to pour feelings of helplessness and empathy into works that deal with current events, like the influx of refugees into the United States and the aftermath of natural disasters such as floods, fires and hurricanes.

As an artist, confronting these situations by “praying with clay” through the act of designing, pounding, shaping, and detailing are a way of expressing my humanity. Unlike my more distinct and detailed watercolor portraits of specific individuals, which serve the purpose of personal homage, admiration, and distinction through the use of careful detailing and the attainment of likeness, clay allows me to generalize figures and faces more and to “emote” in a very personalized manner. I need to work in both painting and ceramics as they each satisfy a different aspect of what I need to express.

© Anne Farley Gaines