Hi, my name is Anne Butera

Anne Butera Painting Nasturtiums

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. 

Young Anne

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.

Anne Butera Painting Goldfish

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.

Exhibitions:

Thank you!

Press, Interviews, Publications: