Love Letter to Anna Valdez

In the center, a sketch is pinned to a tree stump. Atop it, a plant potted in a squatty orange vase. The rest of the scene is swallowed up by leaves of varying, brilliant patterns and colors.
Anna Valdez, Sketch on Log, 2021. Oil and acrylic on canvas. 42 x 40 inches.  

As someone who has spent the last decade of my life in Arizona, I have always been fascinated by the way light and color can bring life to a place that is seemingly devoid of it. An otherwise bland array of rocks and dirt can take on new meaning when the sun hits just right changing the color from brown to an orange rust. Sunset is the most magical time of day in the desert when a light pink hue casts the land in a warm glow. The influx of color brings a whole new appreciation for the surrounding land.

Artist Anna Valdez does just that in her paintings and sculptures: brings life and meaning to the objects that encompass our lives. This idea is what initially drew me to her work. Her colorful canvases invite the viewer to ponder the keepsakes and artifacts that define who we are. By meshing household items such as plants, vases and knick knacks with preexisting natural spaces, she offers an ode to personal experience. 

Valdez’s use of color is akin to the way light casts a new perspective on the desert. She uses bright pinks, oranges and deep greens to breathe life into a normal, everyday setting. She embellishes earth tones to create joyful works of art that feel rooted in nature and appreciation for the land. She is a master at zooming in on a specific scene, filling it with color and encouraging the viewer to live in the space.


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