|WILLIE NELSON, ACRYLIC, 24 x 30.|
By Bonnie Gangelhoff
BORN: Fairfax, VA, but moved to Texas 18 months later.
ART EDUCATION: A few high school art classes.
STYLE: Photorealistic portraiture with impressionistic flair.
MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT THE WAY YOU WORK: “Four in the morning is my peak time.”
FIRST ART SALE: “A commission to paint a horse on the inside of a closet door for $35 when I was 15.”
SECOND-CHOICE CAREER: Creative advertising.
OTHER PASSIONS: Playing the piano, Photoshop, and Almond Joy candy bars.
MANTRA OR MOTTO: “Don’t take yourself too seriously.”
QUIRKIEST TRAIT: “I’m half Cajun and I can’t cook.”
BIGGEST FEAR: Worms.
FAVORITE STUDIO MUSIC: Muse.
BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: “I was a naive 16-year-old and I was painting with really watery $3-a-bottle acrylics that I thought were great. A painting teacher at a workshop told me, ‘Try oil paint; it’s much better.’”
PET PEEVE: “Oil paint in my hair.”
FAVORITE ARTWORK BY ANOTHER ARTIST: Chuck Close’s BIG SELF-PORTRAIT.
PRICE RANGE: $1,000 to $3,000.
NEXT BIG GOAL: “Having a solo show featuring huge, compellingly honest portraits of people who have beautiful and eccentric faces—big glassy eyes, freckles, the works. And I want people to leave the gallery thinking, ‘Wow. I felt like those paintings were looking at me.’”
CREATIVE SPARK: “Speeding through the Texas Hill Country blasting music with the windows down. And espresso.”
I’LL KNOW I’VE MADE IT WHEN: “Justin Timberlake asks me to elaborate on my painting technique at a New York City art gala.”
GALLERIES: Art on 5th, Austin, TX; YAT Gallery, Keller, TX; www.annableker.com.
Featured in our annual “21 Under 31” article in September 2008