Combining Power with Gentleness; Strength with feminine Beauty - an interview by N J Howell with artist Annette E. Banks
Note from Neva, the interviewer: I focused on Annette's vision of the female form because she so clearly transmits an empowering vibe to feminine sensuality and I think that's a great gift to the world. I chose one of the beautiful back series of paintings because I love them but the dancer series and others on her website are all delicious and her paintings depicting the male form are just as potent as the empowered feminine art.
Question: What made you want to paint the female form in an empowering way?
Response: I want my female audience to look at the paintings and feel inspired and uplifted to live an authentic life that is feminine and gracious, yet autonomous and independent. I want to communicate something every woman should be able to relate to i.e. the sometimes contradictory feelings of having a need of being attractive yet at peace within oneself; being pregnant yet sensual and alluring; being desirable yet humble, rather than abuse the power over those who look at you.
Question: Your work feels very intuitive to me... is it, or do you rely on formal art techniques?
Response: It's not that I purposely design my paintings to look a certain way, although I always set out with a rough idea of how I want the composition to be going, but that rarely turns out accurately - on the contrary, it's rather a very spontaneous and indeed highly intuitive act of creating an inspiring, powerful work of art. This process works both ways; I let them ‘speak’ to me and when they think they are done, I'll know.
Question: Your incredible works of art look like every woman to me ... in a sense that they encompass more than the individual form and go more toward the essence of the feminine. Do you use models or do you see these images like a woodcarver sees the image within the wood?
Response: In order to achieve a convincing painting I feel the need to come away from using models but rather sculpt their faces and bodies spontaneously in a highly tactile, textured and fluid fashion, so that they will eventually resemble a real person. This can be a scary and sometimes rather difficult process as you can mess it up badly. But perfection comes with practice and I am always working on adjusting my style.
Question: Annette, your art has a spiritually uplifting energy ... do you approach art from a spiritual or metaphysical perspective?
Response: Absolutely, I often think that I possess an enormous amount of energy, drive and enthusiasm which I developed over the years in rigorous self-improvement practices, discipline and through the application of spiritual-esoteric teachings. When I work I let myself being guided in terms of visual appeal and dynamic impact, always aiming to address what it means to be alive and human.
I am a strong advocate for what we are meant to be – i.e. these boundless, exuberant, joyful beings with an eternal, divine connection. I want to remind people of this truth and know it can be done. It is not without reach as most people assume - it’s just about taking control power back into our own lives, finding inner peace and refining ourselves as much as we possibly can.
Additional comments about her artwork, from Annette:
I believe that my own fearless attitude and strong desire for personal development and freedom feeds directly into the paintings. Therefore they reflect my character, even if that wasn't initially intended. I guess the artist is never far removed from his/her work and so they have become an active part, an extension of my personality if you will, and I certainly enjoy representing this to the world.
About Annette: The artist Annett E. Bank works and lives in Brighton, UK where she has recurring shows and commercial outlets for her striking paintings. She exhibits widely and is represented at various international Art Fairs. You may contact Annette via her website, which features the entire porfolio of her artwork: Poetry in Motion - the art of painting sensuality.