ANITA ZYMOLKA AMRHEIN
Nature, color, details and classic music inspire my paintings, which can turn out to be realistic, abstract, whimsical or all of it at once. My paintings seek to capture the intricacies and interrelatedness of Nature. From human beings and charismatic megafauna to the tiniest insect or nematode, each species has a role to play. I imagine species that have yet to be discovered alongside those that are familiar. I present the viewer with both a big-picture ecosystem view and also the tiniest details to remind us of the important part each of the world’s creatures contributes to our environment. I usually start with a random color scheme and then let my feelings, imagination and intuition guide me to a finished painting. That is why I often try to express a serious side through my paintings to remind us of the importance of protecting nature and our environment.
I grew up in East Germany and escaped just a day before the Berlin Wall went up. Together with my diplomat husband I have lived, traveled and worked extensively overseas. My husband and I now make our home again in Virginia.
Beginning with drawing in 1964, I moved on to oil, acrylic, porcelain and silk painting. Along the way I painted ceramic and porcelain gifts for the Smithsonian stores, bathroom porcelain items for a specialty store and classic Delft tiles for a manufacturer. In 1981, I settled on watercolors as my favorite medium. It was also the most portable medium since my husband joined the Diplomatic Service and we started to move frequently overseas and domestic.
I continued my watercolor studies in '81 to '85 under Prof. Yan Yee Hong at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, later continued under Prof. August Ohm in Hamburg and Berlin, Germany. Several workshops in Germany and Italy, and with Linda Doll, Michelle Tremaine, Skip Lawrence and Paul Jackson in the U.S., helped me develop my own style.
I have had solo exhibitions in Hamburg, Berlin and Potsdam, Germany; Milan, Italy; Warrenton, Virginia; Seattle and Everett, Washington. My paintings have been juried into Exhibitions at the Tacoma Museum of Art, the National Watercolor Society (NWS) and International Exhibitions of the Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS), California Watercolor Association (CWA), Collective Visions Gallery (CVG) and the Shenzhen (China) International Watercolor Biennial. My works can be found in private collections in many countries. I am a member of NWS and Signature Member of NWWS and CWA. I sign my paintings with my maiden name “ZYMOLKA”.
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