This month we are obsessed with artist Anita Felix! Get excited, you can now shop her beautiful art online at Lily Lane Home. In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re thrilled to share this exclusive Q&A with the artist.
Lily Lane Home: What is your favorite thing about being a mother?
Anita: My favorite thing about being a Mother is to see the two beautiful blessings I received from God. I cannot imagine a bigger blessing and joy! To see what came from true love and to see how they grew up to be beautiful souls. I love to make them laugh and make them feel that I am not just their Mother, but also their lifelong, true, best friend for life.
Lily Lane Home: How does being a mother influence your work, your art?
Anita: Oh, a lot! I want first of all for them to be proud of me and that motivates me to become a better artist. They are my biggest fans and if they give their opinion on my art, I take it very seriously. They have asked me to paint things that I would never have dreamed of painting and that teaches me new skills and also a lot of patience…. because it has to be perfect for my boys. Being a mother requires a lot of patience, compromise, change, accepting criticism, passion and love. Learning and eventually acquiring those skills/qualities after many years, helps me to strive to be a better artist every day.
Personally, I think if you are a Mother or if you have a good loving relationship with you Mother, you can conquer the world because it teaches you to be unselfish. To love others and take care of others.
Lily Lane Home: Did you always know you wanted to be an artist?
Anita: No. I wanted to be a ballet dancer. But since I can remember, I loved coloring books. I always wanted crayons, pencils and coloring books for my birthdays and Christmas.
Boring…….some people would say, but easy for my parents, lol! Blending colors fascinated me and my love for art grew bigger without me realizing it.
Lily Lane Home: How did your art business come to be?
Anita: I worked at a beautiful store in Downtown McKinney (Gray Living) for two years. The owner was very supportive of my art and he allowed me to exhibit my art in his store.
My art sales picked up and due to big demand for commission work and of course my intense passion to be a full-time artist, I could no longer work at the store. I took a big leap of faith with the wonderful support of my husband of 24 years and became full time artist in July 2013. My husband (and biggest fan :-)) created a very special art studio in our house for me and this is where I spend my time every day.
Lily Lane Home: What is the very first painting you ever completed?
Anita: Art was one of my subjects at school. I painted many pieces then but my very first big painting I was proud of, completed and even had it framed, was two Poppy’s (flowers). Believe it or not, it is hanging in my Laundry room today, shipped all the way from South Africa. After 17 years, it is faded and old looking, but still special to me.
Lily Lane Home: Do you have a favorite?
Anita: That is like asking if you have a favorite child… if you have two… LOL! BUT, I have to admit, I do have a favorite and it is a 48″ x 60″ ballet tutu, hanging in my living room. My very first large Tutu and I will probably never sell this one….
Lily Lane Home: How has your painting style and technique changed and/or developed?
Anita: Drastically! It all started with sketches and fine art. I loved to paint portraits. Pencil and Pen was also on the top of my list.
As the years went by, I experimented with various mediums. I finally decided that I love painting with Acrylic paints simply because it blends so easily and it dries very fast.
I respect all artists very much and therefore I draw inspiration from many artists around the world. When we moved to the USA 5.5 years ago (from Cape Town, South Africa), I learned about an artist who lives in France. She paints ballet tutu’s and because of my love for the art of ballet, I started painting ballet dresses and tutu’s. I developed my own style and combine my tutu’s with old vintage mannequin busts and 18th century French fashion dresses.
Because of my love for nature and the ocean, I also paint abstract landscapes using pallet knives and thousands (really thousands, no joke) of brush strokes over and over until I am satisfied with the result. So, from fine artist I moved on and made abstract/contemporary art my new best “friend”.
Lily Lane Home: Where and when do you feel most inspired?
Anita: God created Heaven and Earth so flawless, how can we not get inspiration by Nature? Whenever I see a beautiful sunrise or sunset, gorgeous clouds coming together in the sky, gathering for a late afternoon “meeting”, that inspires me to save a blank canvas from looking so pale 🙂 Music is also a very big part of my life, I cannot paint without music. Music is my “teacher” and “confidant” throughout my creations.
Anita: Yes and I still think about it all the time 🙂 The good news is that I sold it to a lovely couple that visited the store who became dear friends. It was a ballet tutu in soft olive greens and shades of yellow. I don’t know why but every time I looked at it, it made me smile. It made me happy because it was just so different from any other painting I ever painted. Most of my tutus are in white, this one just turned out to be an exception in my world of paintings. It almost became like a “foster child” to me and it had a comfortable spot against my wall…..until….. my customers wanted a green ballet tutu!!! We still laugh about it today 🙂
Lily Lane Home: How would you describe your own personal style? How does it influence what you paint?
Anita: My personal style is very much based on emotion.
My landscapes are abstract. When I paint abstracts landscapes, I feel brave, bold and energized, almost as if I want to make a statement on behalf of Nature.
The Tutu’s has a feel of impressionism. The dresses are 18th century French/Baroque style with hints of impressionism, leaving free access to the imagination. The dresses allow me to escape to a very calm, romantic and serene inner place.
This style influences a lot what I paint. I leave a lot of space for error in my paintings and by that I mean, if paint drips or runs…. I leave it. I hardly ever try to correct something. To me, that is art.
Each canvas, receiving striates (stripes and grooves) of colors and washes, ends up almost acquiring it’s own soul. With the tutus I love to add a lot of texture to create a 3D vision.
Lily Lane Home: I see a trend of gowns and dresses in many of your pieces, what inspired this choice of object?
Anita: Firstly, my love for the art of Ballet. Secondly, my love for dance and romance.
When I paint a tutu, it feels like I am dancing. I listen to classical music, as I said before, I draw a lot of inspiration from music. That is what brings out the soft flowing brush strokes in the dresses. The art of dance has always facinated me combined with fashion. I adore the 18th century fashion, big, bold, flowing and feminine gowns. Old and abanondoned mannequins adds history to the paintings, combined with beautiful ball gowns and brought to life with strings of jewelry and flowers. My paintings carries with it a message of imagination, hope and love and my wish is that every owner of my art will experience this.
Anita: I paint that which moves me. I have always loved the ocean, we used to spend holidays at the beach and those were the happiest times of my childhood. Living by the ocean for 6 years in Cape Town, South Africa, was very inspiring and I used to indulge in going to the beach almost every day. The smells, the textures and the color visions are burnt into my memory.
Lily Lane Home: How would you describe your art to someone who hadn’t seen it before?
Anita: Calming, yet it should give you a sense of happiness. If you have a good imagination, my art will put yours to the test.
Lily Lane Home: What is one quote or piece of advice you strive to live by?
Anita: “It is not happy people who are thankful, it is thankful people who are happy”