Angela Saxon, 2013. Painting in Kentucky

Artist Statement

Painting for me is the immersion in image-making in an attempt to communicate something for which words won’t do. What I see and am compelled to capture and share in my own visual language. As in the way that a writer uses poetry to make words be more than just words.

The act of painting: brushes full of paint describing light, feeling their way around the arc of a shoreline, inadvertently dragging bright green through pale blue. Expressive marks that both describe and negate the subject matter. Abstracted shapes that are reminiscent of known forms but that have a purpose in the painting other than merely describing that known form.

I have always painted. I was certain of being an artist as I grew up. Yet painting has always been a battle. I work directly, confidently, diligently and take risks in my work. But a sense of confidence is always elusive. I’m never on solid ground for long.

On one side of this battle is certainty of purpose and clarity of vision. On the other side is doubt and insecurity. My paintings are made in the space between the two. Consequently the paintings continue to evolve. I work in series, painting my way through an idea until finding resolution and then making my way forward to a new series as the outcome of this process.

I am engaged in visually exploring the natural world: a response to direct observation is essential. Plein air paintings and drawings form the basis for studio paintings. I also work regularly from the figure, create mixed media collages combining of my drawings and paintings including work from my early childhood to the present and create 3D collaborations with a fellow artist; all support my interest in abstracting reality.

I grew up on the southern shore of Lake Michigan in Gary, Indiana and spent much time in Chicago, wandering the halls of the Art Institute. I have lived in northern Michigan in Traverse City since 1987, which has had a profound influence on me as a landscape painter. I have a BFA in painting from Indiana University.

Studio visits welcomed by appointment. 231 631 5079 or email

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Selected Exhibitions + Awards + Collections
2016: Featured Painter, ARTWALK, Michigan Artists Gallery, Traverse City, MI
2015: Italian Residency: San Casciano
2015: Art in America on Tour, curated by Julie Torres, featuring work by one artist from each of the 50 states, The Satellite Show, Miami, FL; Elizabeth Stone Harper Gallery, Clinton, SC
2015: This Land, 5-person exhibition, Hudson Gallery, Sylvania, OH
2015: “Scapes,” Roan + Black, Saugatuck, MI
2015: “Small Works” group exhibition, Tvedten Fine Arts, Harbor Springs, MI
2015: Painting Leelanau: 5th Annual, Old Art Building, Leland
2015:”Figural”, BLK MRKT, Traverse City
2014: Italian residency: Rome, Florence, Assisi
2014: Best in Show: Leland Air
2013: “Art of the Sleeping Bear Dunes,” group exhibition and full color book; Dennos Museum Center
2013: Solo exhibition: Warm Springs Gallery, Charlottesville, VA
2013: Best in Show: Leland Air, plein air event, Leland
2012: 4th place, Northwest Michigan Regional Exhibition, Dennos Museum Center, Traverse City
2012: Painting Leelanau: 2nd Annual, Old Art Building, Leland
2011: Interpreting Leelanau: Exhibit at the Old Art Building, Leland, MI
2011: Group Landscape Exhibit, Water Street Gallery
2010: Landscape Exhibition, Water Street Gallery
2009: “The Saugatuck Dunes: Artists Respond to a Freshwater Landscape”,  full color book
2009: American Places + Spaces, Water Street Gallery
2009: Chicago Salon: One-Person Exhibition
2009: One-Person Exhibition: Mezzanine Gallery, Cleveland
2009: His, Hers and Theirs: Exhibition with Royce Deans showing individual work
as well as collaborative series at Gallery Fifty, Traverse City
2009: Ann Arbor Salon: One-Person Exhbition
2008: Nature Interpreted, Group Exhibition, Emily Amy Gallery, Atlanta, GA
2008: Art in Embassies program collection, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
2008: Sky & Water, Group Exhibition, Water Street Gallery, Douglas, MI
2007: Jon Stryker private collection, Kalamazoo, MI
2006: Northwest Michigan Regional Exhibition, Dennos Museum, Traverse City
2004: 1st Place, 24th Juried Fine Arts Exhibition, Crooked Tree Arts Center, Petoskey, MI
2004: One-Person Exhibition, Michigan Artists Gallery, Suttons Bay, MI
2002: One-Person Exhibition, Water Street Gallery
2002: One-Person Exhibition, Lake Street Studios, Glen Arbor, MI
2001: Honorable Mention, Int’l Society of Experimental Artists,  Dennos Museum
2001: Honorable Mention: Oils & Acrylics, A Juried Show,Traverse Area Arts Council
2001: Group Exhibition, Landscapes of Community, Dennos Museum Center
2000: Group Exhibition, Seven, Parallel Arts Gallery, Northport, MI
2000: Landscapes of Community, Group Exhibition, Dennos Museum Center
1998: Second Place: All-Media Show, Traverse Area Arts Council
1996: First Place: All-Media Show, Traverse Area Arts Council
1996: Regional Exhibition, Dennos Museum, Juror: MaryAnn Wilkinson, DIA

BFA in Painting from Indiana University, currently living in Leelanau County in Traverse City, Michigan.