“A visual journal, my art work reflects the things I love, the landforms, flora, fauna and experiences of where I live. For many years my home has been in the American Southwest, a place that has for me a strong inspiring energy. My work is also a result of the other places I have lived and traveled and the things I have studied. My time in Asia studying brush painting and woodblock printmaking, learning about world cultures, reading art history and my study of egg tempera painting and Italian culture – all have influenced who I am and my creative work. But if I try to describe what I aim for in my work, it is this: Whatever I choose to depict – patterns in landscapes, cloud formations, energy in desert plants, the mystery of wild creatures – I want to capture the unique details of a particular moment. A moment that rather than rushing by unnoticed is quietly preserved.”
Ann Lehman has been making art since her childhood in Pennsylvania but really began her career in art after graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in psychology and many classes in art history and studio art. Her study since that time has included Chinese ink painting and woodblock printmaking in Taiwan; traditional Japanese woodblock printmaking in Japan; drawing, etching and watercolor in St. Louis, Missouri; and egg tempera painting in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Since her first exhibition in 1975, Ann has exhibited her work in numerous one-person and group shows. In addition to working in the studio, Ann taught art in Tokyo, Japan and at various places in St. Louis, Missouri, including five years at the St. Louis Art Museum. For more than 30 years she and her husband have owned an ethnographic art gallery and traveled to many exotic parts of the world. These experiences have both added to her understanding of art from a cultural and historic perspective and inspired many art works.
In 1988 Ann Lehman first visited the American Southwest and has continued to paint and draw the images she collects from the sky and land there. In 2001 after moving home and business to Santa Fe, Ann changed from painting large watercolors to work in the medium of egg tempera and began a series of large graphite drawings of rock formations in the Southwest. Inspired by her many years studying Asian art, she tries to combine this design sense and technique with the Western mediums of egg tempera and graphite drawing in unique and innovative ways.
From her study of Chinese and Japanese art, Ann translates the spontaneous brushwork of ink painting into the strokes and energy of her egg tempera paintings or the animated lines of her drawings. Like the traditional Chinese and Japanese painters, her goal is to capture both the grand and intimate moments of nature and create a lively, yet quiet, meditative mood.
Visit Ann Lehman's page at the website of the New Mexico chapter of National Museum of Women in the Arts.