Hi, my name is Anne Butera
My creative journey was sparked by an overactive imagination and a natural curiosity. Before I ever dreamed of being an artist I started a blog, calling it "My Giant Strawberry" as a nod to my kindergarten self who got in trouble in school for telling stories of the enormous strawberry in her backyard.
I was a gardener first, and so as I taught myself to paint, my garden was my classroom and paper and paint were my teachers. For me the inspiration to paint is a whisper of magic. As I study my subject I listen to its whispers and I return to enchanted childhood memories of playing in the dirt and climbing trees and making and dreaming.
a bit about my background...
I grew up in suburban Chicago in a loving and creative home. My parents nurtured my imagination, nourished me with stories, fostered a sense of ingenuity and surrounded me with art, crafts, music and gardens.
Even so, it took me many years to realize that a life with art at its center was even possible.
I studied creative writing in college, but after I graduated I sought a "real" job, settling in Cleveland and becoming a children's librarian. Although I loved to create, I never considered myself an artist.
Working in a practical profession, even my identity as a writer got tucked into a drawer like all of the stories I'd written.
Eventually, dissatisfied and restless with life in Cleveland, I began to strive for a more creative existence, seeking to reshape my life into something with a better fit.
I didn't have a clear picture of what I wanted that life to be, but I felt pulled toward a beautiful dream. In 2010 I took a life-changing leap, quitting my job and moving to the country to reclaim my childhood farm girl fantasy.
My creative journey didn't progress in a straight line. There were missteps, wrong turns, detours and delays. There were heartbreaks and challenges. My life-changing leap ended with me falling flat on my face. At times I felt lost and hopeless. And yet, that beautiful dream continued to beckon.
Even in the darkness I crafted, I wrote, I gardened, I took photographs. I chose joy and I also began to listen to a deep and secret yearning to paint. My beautiful dream began to clarify as my passion for painting with watercolors blossomed.
I have always felt most alive surrounded by plants and flowers. My soul is most at peace when I'm in the stillness of nature. Using watercolor to capture that beauty, joy and magic was a natural progression of my creativity. Teaching myself to paint with watercolor took time and patience, but passion and stubbornness compelled me to keep going.
Throughout my journey, my kindergarten self -- that girl who told stories about the enormous strawberry in her backyard -- walked by my side, inspiring me, encouraging me and urging me onward.
Today I live and work in a small town in the beautiful Driftless region of rural Wisconsin. I garden. I paint. I design joyful patterns created from my watercolor illustrations. I collaborate with clients and license my illustrations. My beautiful dream is flourishing.
Thank you for being here, reading my story. I hope that my art speaks to you. For me, it's not about the paint, though the paint itself does bring me joy. It's not about the image that appears on the empty page, though that, too, is magical. It's about that connection with nature and its beauty and magic.
Maybe you just like flowers, or maybe, when you look at my art you hear the whispers, too.
- During the month of February 2018, eight of my watercolor houseplant portraits were on display at the McIntosh Memorial Library in Viroqua, Wisconsin.
- My Orange Marigolds painting was displayed at the 2017 National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa California in September of 2017. The exhibit, Art of the Heirloom, was curated by the Hudson Valley Seed Company and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds.
- In 2016 during the month of June, seven of my paintings were on display at the McIntosh Memorial Library in Viroqua, Wisconsin.
- My painting, Three Heirloom Tomatoes, was displayed at the 2015 National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa, California in September of 2015.
- Three of my paintings, Blue Delphiniums, Red Gem Marigolds and Black Eyed Susan were part of Contemporary Art Gallery Online's May 2015 Exhibition: All Botanicals. The exhibition can be viewed here.
- My painting, Red Flower Carpet, was displayed at the Philadelphia Flower Show in an exhibit organized by the Hudson Valley Seed Library in February & March of 2015. (To see some photos from the show, visit this post on the Habitat for Artists blog).
- My Bachelor Buttons painting was included in the exhibit Art of the Heirloom at the 2014 National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa California. The exhibit was curated by the Hudson Valley Seed Library.
Press, Interviews, Publications:
- I have a short piece in Issue 36 of UPPERCASE Magazine that talks about social media and its effects on art and creativity.
- I am profiled in the book, Botanica, published in October 2017 by UPPERCASE Publishing as the third volume of of the Encyclopedia of Inspiration.
- My Watercolor Nasturtium Class on Skillshare was featured by Jules Tillman on the Creating Beautifully Blog.
- I was interviewed by Alisa Burke as part of her blog series The Art of Chasing a Dream. Read the interview here.
- My blog and my art was featured in the Winter 2017 issue of Artful Blogging Magazine in the article I wrote titled Finding Encouragement.
- The 2x2 Sketchbook project, a collaboration with artist Dana Barbieri, was featured in Issue 29 of Uppercase Magazine.
- Laurie of Hedgerow Rose interviewed me on her website. Read the full interview here.
- My painting, Purple Oxalis in a Mint Bowl, was featured on the UK Etsy Blog.