AnnMarie Young

 

When I think about where I am from, I think of the Crepe Myrtle trees in my backyard that turn pink and shake their petals into the air during springtime. I think of climbing to the top of Enchanted Rock with my dad when I was twelve. When I think about where my dad is from, I think of a tall Saguaro cactus in Tuscon, Arizona that pricked me with needles when I played too close. When I think about where my mom is from, I’m in the back seat of the car looking out at hundreds of Mardi Gras beads tangled in the branches of Live Oaks that line the streets of New Orleans. Landscapes hold beauty, of course, but they also hold memories. I was first drawn to painting landscape during my freshman year at The University of Texas, while my father was in the hospital battling heart failure. I made a painting of Arizona that captured not only the desert landscape, but a memory I had shared with him. Since that time, the idea that landscape can capture personal moments never left me. Now, I paint the American West in the way that I experience it. I travel, I camp, I drive, I walk, I sit, I reflect, and I take home the photographs I shoot on my journeys. I paint a scene as it sits in the forefront of my mind. The work I make is very much about my memories, whether I share their stories or not, but I have found that landscape cannot be exclusive. The viewer is welcome to reflect upon their own familiarity with my scenes, and I hope they do. The landscapes I paint do not belong to me—only my impression of them does.

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