As a contemporary artist and feminist, my paintings offer the paradox of lightness, stillness, and joy arrived at through the crucible of lived experience of personal passion and powerful emotions. I use a traditional medium (watercolor), on traditional Asian papers, mounted using time honored techniques—yet depicting subjects subversive in their stillness and seeming ordinariness. Each presents nature’s feminist/feminine face and fact “hiding in plain sight.” The materials’ apparent delicacy and translucence belie their fundamental strength and longevity, reflecting the paintings’ combination of traditional and modern, infused with multiple layers of personal experience and women’s archetypal reality. Several paintings invoke early feminism as well as mystical, goddess, and nature spirituality through depictions of roses, and many deploy red—a color signifying passion and spiritual attainment as well as anger, menstruation, and spilled blood in the movement toward absolute rights for people living in biologically female bodies (through birth or by choice). These paintings’ essential peacefulness reminds us about the importance of rest, honoring nature’s cycles, and savoring life’s beauty and unfolding joy.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Anne Nordhaus-Bike is a longtime member of Woman Made Gallery. An award-winning artist fluent in multiple media, Anne now focuses primarily on watercolor painting inspired by nature and influenced by astrology and mysticism. Her work has appeared in numerous solo and group shows as well as many arts programs, presentations, and performances. Her work also has been published in periodicals and books; covered in numerous print publications; and featured in broadcast media, both on television and in a feature film. She received a degree in art history, with honors, from the University of Chicago in 1981 and went on to launch a fine arts column that ran for two decades in a Chicago newspaper, Gazette Chicago, where she has served in various capacities since the newspaper’s founding in 1983. She joined Gazette Chicago’s board of directors in 2004. She also works as an astrologer, and since 2013 she has appeared as “Astrologer Anne” on WGN TV, WGN Radio, other national radio stations, and several podcasts. She launched her astrology book, Follow The Sun, at Woman Made Gallery in 2012 to showcase her original watercolors for all 12 zodiac signs, which appear in the book along with some of her other paintings. Anne is president of ANB Communications, a communication and multi media firm she founded in 1993. Among her many honors, she was named to the National Women’s Hall of Fame’s Wall of Fame.
© Anne Nordhaus-Bike