It’s always a good day when I stumble upon a new-to-me artist to love. More often than not, the artist in question turns out to be from the UK.
Anna Pugh was born in 1938 and hails from Kent, “the Garden of England.” An esteemed British folk artist, her work shows her deep affinity with plants and animals, both a central part of her life growing up as the daughter of a veterinarian and a devoted gardener.
I love the stories she tells in her paintings, whether a scene of the countryside or coast. Her finely detailed and beautifully textured depictions of flora and fauna and the changing seasons are infused with an element of whimsy and the surreal. Alongside a dog or chicken one might find the occasional unicorn. Who would not be charmed with titles like “Hang Gliding in Heels” or “Bugs Do Pilates”?
Initially educated at a convent boarding school, Anna went on to art college, where she studied graphic design and became interested in Mogul and Persian painting. Her work has been compared to that of Rousseau and Chagall: “few artists equal her ability to record natural phenomena and to invigorate it with such persuasive illusion.”
In a thirty year period she’s completed about 300 paintings, all in private collections across the UK, Europe, and North America.
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