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Cameo: Annora’s Way

Annora Brown was driven by her artistic impulses and defined by her quality of expression.
She had an endless passion for literature, history and research. She sought after beauty and had a deep hunger to capture the essence of the natural world around her.
Furthermore, she appreciated the way new found experiences presented fresh challenges and possibilities.
All of this helped her, with pen and paper, paint and brush, to speak to the daily lives of the people through art.
By choosing her subjects carefully, she pioneered western landscape depictions. Her paintings included elevators, barbwire fences, dust storms, plants, animals and birds, native culture, the plains and foothills. Each composition, in situ, was a study in story and design.
She was always open to learning new ideas and techniques. Her use of casein with her watercolours is one example of her progressive style.
Furthermore, through her work with the Extension Department, University of Alberta, she showed herself ready to travel to numerous rural communities to encourage others to develop their artistic skills.
Annora’s intuitive way was to try to capture the essence of the subject at hand.
“(She) does not impose a design on nature” fellow artist Doris Hunt wrote. “(Her paintings) express not only the natural forces but the artist’s inner sense of communion with nature.”
Look closely into the background of her flower paintings, for example. See the small strokes of design that capture the poetry, the music, the harmony of colour, the movement of light. One is invited to consider both the physical and spiritual rending of the subject at hand.
“Art for the dedicated,” she wrote, “must be a striving for something beyond the physical.” No one needs to look in far off corners for artistic focuses, for Annora teaches us to look at what is right within our grasp.

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