Pin-up Art “Eye Candy For The Soul”
Jessica: AnaRosa, thanks so much for taking time out of your schedule to do an interview for TSM. I’m such a huge fan of your work, so it’s wonderful to have you here. 🙂
AnaRosa: Thank you, Jessica. I’m tickled pink that you want to talk to me!
Jessica: You’re a self-taught artist and have been selling your paintings to collectors around the world for over a decade. At what age did you start painting? And tell us about your early painting days before you became exclusive to pin-up art.
AnaRosa: I’d like to think I was born with a brush in my hand ready to conquer the world one painting at a time (laughing). I was an only child for many years before my sister was born, so I depended on my imagination to fill up my time alone. I loved doodling and writing short stories. I loved old movies and classic literature too. So, my childhood was without doubt magical and inventive. Growing up my Teachers were very giving of their belief in my talent and I’ve always been grateful for that. Eventually, it was on a life-altering Tuesday morning in 2001 that I realized the profound importance of living each day to its fullest and doing what makes us happy makes all the difference. I know for a fact that if you exude honesty and love that others will be drawn to it and it spreads. I may have bloomed later in my (art) life, but once I began painting full-time I have never looked back. I’ve evolved as an artist through the years, but I have always remained true to painting the things I love – animals, mermaids, angels, and glamorous, flirty characters! I doubt that will ever change; it’s who I am.
Jessica: On your website, you state that, “Painting pin-up is my way of conveying pure femininity and ageless glamour, it captures the kittenish sparkle of the women’s spirit whether she is portrayed classic, burlesque, rock & roll or glamour. My pin-up girls embody an unconventional beauty with an awe-inspiring truth and playful sassiness. At the core, I am inspired by the radiant heart and soul of true Girl Power! These girls don’t succumb to the pressures to be what they are not nor do they apologize for being who they are. You can pin them up but you cannot pin them down! They are glitter girls because their sparkle comes from the inside.” That’s a great, explanatory description of your pin-up girl art! Where do you get the inspiration to paint these pin-up girls?
AnaRosa: It comes from an innate and unrestrained place within me and from my immeasurable admiration for the strong, lovely women in my life and the lives and careers of amazing goddesses like Marilyn Monroe, Betty Page, Audrey Hepburn and Madonna. My paintings are a visual celebration of girl-power – women who do what they love and live without making apologies for being who they are or for their desires, passions and dreams. There may be adversities and challenges but they don’t back down. Which reminds me, a few years ago I got an email from a collector whom I had not heard from in a long time. She told me she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer and had been battling the pains of this dreadful illness. I was left speechless when she expressed gratitude to me for the “Glitter Girl” painting (of mine) she owned because it had helped bring comfort and strength during some of the darkest hours of her life. I’ll never forget that, the force of the spirit and the power of art acting as one. Women like her are a limitless source of inspiration to me.
Jessica: Your gallery of pin-up art on your website is truly “eye candy for the soul.” I love all your art and every piece of work is amazing, so have a hard time picking favorites! What is your process for creating a piece of work? And what are some of your personal favorite paintings and why?
AnaRosa: Thank you, Jessica. Its always been a very natural process that comes alive the moment the brush dances across the canvas. I rarely even sketch the image beforehand. I’ll be looking at old glamour magazines, or my cat stretches and poses a certain way, or a song comes on and ideas just start forming. Music is definitely a divine muse – there is so much a painter can absorb from a melody and lyrics. I can try to explain all this but I think that an air of mystery should remain. The enigma of art and the artist behind it is quite fascinating. As far as having favorites I’m not sure I can say I have one. Honestly, they are all extensions of me. How can I possibly choose? What I can say is there are some I will never part with for very special reasons.
Jessica: I read on your site that you use your craft to help animals and earth causes. Tell us about how you use your craft to help them.
AnaRosa: Animals don’t have a voice. There is so much cruelty against them so anything I can do to help put a stop to this nightmare, I will! I also give to Breast Cancer charities and organizations that protect the ocean. I run auctions and proceeds from the sales are used to help out worldwide and local charities. I made a vow years ago that I would always give back through my art. It’s the least I can do.
Jessica: I know you also teach art. How long have you been teaching and what type of school do you teach at?
AnaRosa: I have been an art instructor for over four years and I love it. I work at a nonprofit organization called The Community Arts Project that offers classes, workshops and camps for kids and adults. I believe setting limitations and strict rules hinder freedom of expression. My students are free to explore their ideas, experiment with a variety of supplies – I give them direction but I also just let them have fun! It’s a good feeling knowing that I’m helping stir their creativity because they light up like Christmas trees when they realize the wonderful works of art they’ve created on their very own.
Jessica: Who are some artists you admire?
AnaRosa: I’ve always loved Michelangelo; he’s the essence in my angels and mermaid paintings. There is a divinity in his work that no one can match. I can only try to tap into that magnificent spirit. I’m also a great admirer of John William Waterhouse, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, Andy Warhol and George Rodrigue who created Blue Dog. Furthermore, I’m certain that my love of old Hollywood paved the way to the classic Artists of Pin-Up I admire. Once you see Betty Grable, Lana Turner and Marilyn you’re quickly bound for this glamorous universe that includes Earl Moran, Gil Elvgren, Alberto Vargas, and so many others. I’m a self-taught artist so one of my favorite things to do is to spend quiet moments in museums getting private lessons from the great Masters — it’s priceless.
Jessica: If you had the power to do something in the world today, what would it be and why?
AnaRosa: I’d want to put an end to animal suffering and stop the killing of the ocean. Growing up in New York my family and I would spend summers on Cape Cod – in fact, many may not know this but the mermaids in my art were “born” off the shores of the Cape. I’m truly amazed by the ocean, my respect and love for it compels me to do what I can do protect it and all life under the sea. I can only imagine the things we do not know and all that there is to learn from. Suffering in general tears me apart. I hope my mermaid paintings in some way bring awareness to the precious magnificence and mystery that is the great and powerful yet fragile sea.
Jessica: What is one of your favorite quotes (or lines) that inspires you?
AnaRosa: I love what John Keats said, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.” To me it pertains to anything that makes you feel a kind of joy that comes from love which is pure beauty. Art holds that divine power. How often I look at Van Gogh’s Starry Night and I feel an immeasurable joy and it makes me love the sky and the stars that much more. I also love “Dwell in possibilities” and by that I believe Emily Dickinson meant that we should never limit ourselves or our dreams. When I’m stumped or feeling a little lost I revisit these words and I am comforted and immediately encouraged.
Jessica: Anything else you’d like to share? And where can readers find out more about you and to purchase your work?
AnaRosa: Even after all these years and countless paintings sold I’m still in awe of this journey I’ve been on. I’ve met some of the most interesting, amazing people along the way. I’ve had experiences I couldn’t have imagined. I’ve even found kindred spirits. I just want to say thank you to all the people who’ve believed in me and stood by me through thick and thin. I’m excited for what tomorrow will bring! I do have a website (http://www.artistanarosa.net/) that exhibits a variety of pieces from various collections. I’m currently working on a new Facebook page to promote my art. Updates are posted on my website. Time to get back to my new Spring collection. xoxo
Jessica: Thank you so much again for doing this interview and look forward to seeing your next collection of paintings! Wish you all the best in the future with your art.
AnaRosa: Thanks to you, Jessica, for this opportunity – its been fun! My best wishes to you and your magazine xo