Anne Goetze is a mixed media artist whose work offers majestic imagery centered around beautiful landscapes, rural areas, and people in those farming communities. She combines a love of photography and painting intertwined with her background as a photo retoucher in her work. Her influence is derived from the French and American Impressionists along with Dorothea Lange’s photography of the Depression Era.
Born in Aurora, IL, Anne’s family moved to a new rural town every three years. Her father’s job troubleshooting as a hospital administrator was the catalyst to relocate so often. The creativity in Anne’s family as a child had a big influence on her growing up. Her grandfather, a talented photographer, and artist in the 30s, worked with an advertising agency and a life insurance company. He often did promotion work and was gifted with the ability to produce beautiful pen and ink drawings.
Her dad, also a talented photographer, photographed nature in his spare time. When he gave her an old German camera as a kid, she says it sparked her love for photography. Looking down into the viewfinder and seeing the image upside down helped her learn composition and began her growth as an artist.
Her admiration for the great outdoors is the result of her mother’s love of nature and the beautiful gardens she created outside of each home they lived in. Growing up Anne felt at peace with mother nature and often spent her summers at her grandparent’s farm in Missouri.
Anne attended classes and workshops at the Memphis Academy of Art allowing her to learn art techniques she was interested in before setting out on her career. Her passion for photography sparked her enthusiasm for photo retouching and darkroom printing. At that time the printing process included working long hours in the darkroom with toxic chemicals. Using 8 x 10 transparencies she would take off layers of the film emulsion and hand paint it back to perfect the image using special paints. Another method was to print in the darkroom sandwiching multiple negatives layered together and photo retouching the final printed image by hand.
Anne made her way to Nashville, Tennessee when she got married to her now ex-husband because he was an entertainer in the music business. Her first job was retouching negatives and master prints for portrait photographer Marion Ward. Later, she would work with Charlie McCallen on Music Row, retouching imagery for album covers in the music industry.
The retouching work Anne did by hand before the digital era framed the artist she is today. While she still uses film on occasion, most of her work is done by converting her digital images into b&w photographs and printing them onto photographic paper. She then paints by hand using old-school methods rather than digitally retouching her work in photoshop. Using glazes and heavy oil she layers the pigment on top of the printed photograph building her colors into beautifully textured pieces of art.
In the mid-90s, Anne started sharing her work and putting group shows together in the Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee area. She loved the vibe that the countryside and her small community had to offer. “I loved hanging around with the farmers and locals because it allowed my creative juices to flourish,” she says. That eventually led to Anne opening Leiper’s Creek Gallery with fellow artists, Butler Steltemeier and Lisa Fox.
After being involved with several galleries in the Leiper’s Fork area for the past 20 years, Anne admits the retail environment is not conducive to her creative process or the production of her art. She believes the ability to share her work online is a better fit despite it being overwhelming at times. She agrees that as an independent artist, online promotion requires good time management skills. “I’ll sometimes have to get up two hours early and get things knocked out on the internet before starting my work because I find at the end of the day, my creativity has diminished,” she explains.
Anne’s home and art studio are on a beautiful farm outside the quiet town of Leiper’s Fork near Nashville. She has a separate studio space but loves painting outside in the fresh air, especially in the spring and autumn months. Her son Nathan Collie, also an artist, often shares her studio space. He is a fine art photographer specializing in birds. In his work, he has perfected his own unique technique of printing images onto thin delicate Japanese papers.
Anne’s prominently known Nun series “Pray To Love,” was derived from more than 20 years of visiting her aunt Helen, in Annecy, France. Her aunt was a closed cloistered nun in the Visitation Monastery living without public interaction. With each visit, she documented her experience taking photos of the Nuns, and the beautiful scenery in and around the village.
Another of Anne’s meaningful photo series is centered around the development of Highway 840 through the farmlands of Tennessee. She searched out and talked to people who owned the land that the highway would eventually run through. As she photographed the people and their farms she was personally moved by their stories. The difficult struggles they were experiencing from their losses were heartbreaking. The series titled “Beloved Country” was showcased at the Arts Company in downtown Nashville in order to share the importance of land conservation, something Anne is passionate about.
“I’ve been able to use art as a tool to bring about awareness in preserving the landscape and fighting mass development. I want to share the conflicts that the environment, wildlife, and natural resources are now facing, and how we are all interconnected. Our land must be sustainable or we have no future.”
Anne finds motivation through her spirituality and belief in God. When she gets stuck creatively, she steps back and spends time with creation, to absorb and reflect. She believes that beauty happens when you learn from others and allow it to unfold in your own unique way.
“We as artists need each other, to share personal things and feel connected so we don’t feel like the only bird out there on the wire.” -Anne Goetze
With life slowly returning after COVID-19, Anne has had time to think about what she hopes to do next. Her current project brings artists together by showcasing their work through pop-up art shows. “Spring represents renewal and that’s what we all need after this past year,” she admits. The venue for the show is The Theta General Store, a beautiful old building originally built in 1885. You can read more about the store in the article I wrote with Launch Engine last year. The next show is this weekend May 22nd-23rd and will showcase the work of several artists in multiple mediums. It is the first show since the COVID shutdown and the artist are excited about sharing their work. You can learn more about the artist in this upcoming show here.
Anne has made her way as a mixed media artist and forged her own unique style through her combined skills as a photographer and painter. Her clients include Oprah Winfrey, Tim McGraw, Michael McDonald, Naomi Judd, John Hiatt, The Tennessee State Museum, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, and Billy Ray Cyrus, among many others. She offers commissioned pieces outside of her own personal work.
If you would like to see more of Anne’s work be sure to visit her website.
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