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Back in the Flow: Artist Anna Arnold in the Studio

I met the brilliance of  Anna Arnold several years ago, coveting one of her vibrant pieces of work, her Madonna and Child.  Clevelanders have been fortunate enough to be graced by the illumination of her work through city murals, paintings, masks, and the many mediums this artist employs to stamp her title, “Queen of Color.”

Arnold’s recent painting of the Madonna and Child caught my attention, and I noted that this  image served as part of the resurgence of her creative flow.  As I read her notes, I realized we were given a glimpse of her creative process.  Anna Arnold was in her flow!  She allowed me to publish her notes.  Enjoy!  -Victorine


April 13, 2017- Rediscovered about 3 pounds of paint skins to use! Hmmmmm???

April 14, 2017 – She’s beginning to get a personality and hold her own with this bold flowered frame…love the paint skin used for the hair…just taking a little vaykay time for myself to sleep…and think…and nap and paint all day….like I used to…haven’t painted like this in years…it’s the first time I’ve spent this much time working in this space since I moved everything here almost a year ago…it’s a safe, comfortable space to work in…watching/listening to Vincent Price DVDs while I work…the soundtrack and movies of childhood…

April 15, 2017 – Wow, the piece is speaking to me. This one is becoming, “The Alien”…

April 15, 2017 – Feeling the clock ticking on my time out in the studio! I’m getting a little frantic trying to get the ideas out and at least pieced together. I don’t like working like that. I like to live with a piece, look at it and progress slowly with a work daily. No worries. It is what it is. Grateful for this time to think and create. Fun to rediscover all of the materials I’ve saved to work with. Tomorrow, it’s landing back to “reality” and back to a schedule and being busy.

Oh, wow, there are dishes and laundry and straightening up that the patron art fairy didn’t do while I was “away”! Haaa!

Right now, I think this one will be called, “A Saint in the City” after that Bruce Springsteen song back in the 70s. Who is this dude? A spirit being? A poet? A rebel? A man just trying to get through his day?

April 15, 2017 – So, here’s the result of mostly entirely focused days in the studio! It was time planned to create new art while reflecting, contemplating and napping. Time to get back to “the world” and all of the business and other areas that I am devoted to. Clean up time!

April 16, 2017 – Ah, didn’t stop working on art and didn’t go to sleep. Kept working on, “The Saint in the City”. He needed more hair. This is why I don’t really need to get back into making art. I wanna work all night and my schedule won’t allow me to.

April 22, 2017 – After I got home last night, I started working on more details of the, “Madonna and Child.”Although I’ve made art in workshops at the gallery, I haven’t felt the desire to create art in several years…

The new Madonna and Child is a work in progress. It has been a recurring theme in my work for 20 years. No, I am not a mother. I have always loved the religious icons especially those from the Renaissance and Ethiopia. I am attracted to the power, love, protection, patience of the mother. I love experimenting with multiple textures in my work. In this case it’s glass mosaics, gold leaf, latex and acrylic paint skins.


Anna Arnold, painter and educator, lives and works in Cleveland, Ohio. She is the Gallery Director of the Florence O’Donnell Wasmer Gallery at Ursuline College. Anna has been one of America’s most expressive, exciting, enduring artists and independent educators for nearly three decades.  As a teacher, she believes she is a catalyst to inspire, uplift and change. She has helped to educate hundreds of school children as an artist. Anna is recognized for her lush, exuberantly colorful expressive portraits, murals, ceramics, masks, beads and painted furniture. Contact information:

Anna and one of her murals

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