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Anita Mosher loves art—and not just because she has a successful painting career. Her grandmother and mother were both “hobby artists” (at 85, the latter is still at it). They enrolled Mosher in art class in her hometown of Kansas City at age six. Many years later—after working as an operating room nurse—Mosher picked up her paintbrushes again, searching for something to “feed [her] soul.” Thirteen years ago, she founded Brushstrokes Studio-Gallery with three other artists (the airy yet small venue has four canvas set-ups toward the back that serve as their work areas). And this month at the gallery, she’s exhibiting her first solo show in Denver, Au Courant, Solo.
The collection of 15 works—all created within the past seven months—began with a lively painting of boats (pictured, right) on the water in Cinque Terre, Italy. Mosher rounds out the exhibition with more European landscapes as well as Colorado scenes, still life, and rooster paintings (Jack Nicholson once purchased one of these studies). “I really love if I can do a painting that takes somebody to a happy place,” Mosher says. “The purpose of art is to bring joy into your daily life.”
Mosher’s work, though all done in oils and primarily with an Impressionist bent, shows incredible range. Sometimes her brushstrokes are loose and abstract—a result of her brushing wet paint into wet paint; at other times, you can see the painstaking dabs in a painting’s realism. Backgrounds draw almost as much interest as the main subjects in her works. “I like to paint abstract backgrounds and negative space,” Mosher says. “It makes a painting more interesting if you leave some mystery.” Her inspirations are all based in nature; in fact, Mosher is a founding signature member of Plein Air Artists Colorado. In all of her work, what comes through is Mosher’s ability to hone in on a subject, to lose the nonessentials and focus on the mood of the story she’s trying to portray—it’s a skill she honed working quickly en plein air. “I love the challenge of trying to paint in an environment that’s always changing. It turns all my senses on,” Mosher says. It’s also a skill that draws viewers into the painting, wondering to themselves what’s happening just beyond the edges of Mosher’s brushstrokes.
Details: Au Courant, Solo opens at Brushstrokes on Saturday, May 16, with a reception from 5:30 to 8 p.m.