The painting tradition is strong in Anne Packard’s family from grandfather Max Bohm, turn of the century impressionist, to her grandmother, great-aunt, uncle, mother, and daughter.
Anne Packard grew up in Hyde Park, New York, the daughter of a prominent medical physician. Although she had a desire to be an artist, following the strong painting tradition in her family, her parents coerced her into going to secretarial school. After a period of working in New York City, she married an English teacher and raised five children in Princeton, New Jersey. Anne took up painting at 30, when the youngest of her five children was 6 months old.
In the 70’s Anne divorced. Having always summered in Provincetown, Massachusetts, she moved there with her family. There she began her career as an artist painting on pieces of driftwood which she sold for $10.00 a piece to passing tourists. That was thirty years ago.
Those fortunate enough to follow the progress of Anne Locke Packard’s artistry since the med-1970’s have witnessed a number of transformations in her paintings.
Initially, her art was worked on wood panels or weathered cedar shingles recycled from wind drift along the shores of Cape Cod. Later, she painted on small canvases in addition to the bookshelf sized, icon-like images that delighted and inspired viewers. These vistas of land, sea and sky glowed like jewels suspended in their own mystery.
As her paintings came to involve her total devotion, she studied with the late Phillip Malicoat who had trained in the Hawthorne school. He helped free her from the limited scope of working small. Packard had also studied at Bard College. Robert Motherwell saw great talent in Packard and purchased twenty-three of her paintings for his collection.
With maturity of outlook and applied discipline, new directions emerged. In recent years, Anne developed a more complex brushwork and deeper awareness of nuances in light, color and composition.
Anne’s distinctive style of painting continues to impart the narrow land’s seasonal cycles. The Mediterranean world, bathed in a parallel luminosity, has increasingly yielded subjects for her exploration.
The Cape end, to which Anne has returned time and again, continues to restore her spirit. On that unique finisterre, she has always been at home. Through her childhood by the ocean or as a young woman hawking fishing trips at the town wharf, this world apart provided nurture. Later, as a mother, she lovingly raised five children by that shore. Ultimately, as an artist, her newfound solitude freed her to express her identification with one place.
Her studio is the largest room in her bayside home. Working above the tidal edge, in sight of the harbor and the open water beyond, she is kept mindful of the suddenness of nature’s changing moods. These moods become models to be made palpable on Anne’s canvases. Thusly her painting evokes the surge of relentlessly driven winter seas as well as the tranquil planes of dunes at rest, or an inviting narrow trail winding through sheaves of sharp bladed dune grasses.
“My paintings have nothing to do with nature. It's something to do with forever going... the space behind the sky... the space behind the shadow. It's an inner world [of] emotion and yearning. I yearn to express solitude.”
'It's more of an atmosphere that I like to capture, I do paintings that are alone, not lonely, that good kind of aloneness.”
“Horizons… they are very important to me. Oftentimes, though, I just miss the horizon. I leave it out. Leave it to the viewer. I let people find their own.”