Artist and art therapist, Annie Danberg, mixing paint in her San Rafael, California, art studio

The paintings in Rock Speak represent an ongoing exploration of my fascination with rocks and their symbolic significance. Metaphors of time, impermanence, change and solidity work together to convey the relationship between weight, gravity and the openness of space. The overall aesthetic portrays geometric structure, alongside transparent overlays. There’s a paradoxical quality of the density of rock punctuated by light, making the form seem more ethereal than dense. Moreover, my paintings explore dimension and gravity with surprising visual effects, creating unexpected new landscapes.

An integral part of my creative process involves photographing natural rock formations around Marin County, CA then drawing and painting in acrylic and oil from those initial images. Additionally, I am moved to make cairns – human-made stacked formations that mark a path or burial place – from rocks I collect. My paintings begin with a kinetic, non-objective underpainting, which creates an unusual interplay with the intended composition. I also employ the method of blind contour drawing to further explore these rock forms, which allow me to have an intimate conversation with the objects. My inner landscape becomes part of the subject as I recognize my own seasons and cycles reflected in nature. In this way making art becomes a bridge that connects the natural world with the realm of the sacred.

Annie Danberg | Artist



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