By Bonnie Gangelhoff
California artist Ann McMillan brings a background in biology and science illustration to her intimate depictions of the landscape. Outdoor illumination has always intrigued McMillan—she often focuses on the play of light on waves and fog. But she is equally interested in urban and garden landscapes, from decaying buildings to rusting tractors. “I am particularly interested in places that have a balanced harmony between humans and nature, such as organic farms and beaches,” she explains. “I love to do spontaneous sketches of people on the beach. I am attracted to things that show a lot of life—the fog moving in on the coast, people playing in the park, and the last light moving across the flowers in a garden.”
After working for several years in oils, McMillan recently switched to pastels because they provide the opportunity to create different textures. Pastel also encourages the use of pure pigments while allowing her to focus on line and the quality of marks. “I try, with my marks and brush strokes, to put life and vigor into the medium,” McMillan says.
In 2003, McMillan won the Emerging Artist award at the Carmel Art Festival. Next month, her works are on view at the annual Sonoma Plein Air show and sale held in Sonoma, CA. She is a member of the Oil Painters of America and the California Art Club. McMillan is represented by William Lester Gallery, Point Reyes Station, CA; Epperson Gallery, Crockett, CA; and www.amgallery.net.
Featured in “Artists to Watch” August 2006