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Artist Spotlight: Ann Croghan, Expressing Her Faith Through Art

As Ann Croghan, a Foundry Art Centre artist paints with a full palette of colors in studios 15 and 16, she listens to gentle Christian music in the background. Starting as a child, she fell in love with colors, starting with memorizing all 120 colors of the Crayola crayon box.

The idea that red-orange and orange-red had the same name, yet were different colors made her mind race with curiosity. This love for the creation of different colors followed Croghan throughout her life and led her to become a colorist painter.

Heaven on Earth

Croghan uses her talents with color to evoke an emotional response from spectators of her art, but her work holds a much deeper meaning to her. She intentionally uses light in her paintings to represent God and she uses darkness to represent the world.

“Even in the darkest areas of my paintings, the light still shines through,” Croghan said.

The idea of the light always being visible symbols her philosophies of hope, peace, grace and her own personal relationship with God. By using painting as an outlet to express her beliefs, Croghan believes her work has brought her closer to her faith.

“I want my paintings to captivate the viewer in a positive way and to help them feel closer to the heavens,” Croghan said. “When people walk into [the studio] they say, ‘Whoa, I feel calm.’”

Enough Love to go Around

Croghan shares her love for color and art through teaching classes. She teaches her students the concept of color theory so they can learn about color and use that knowledge to create their own colors. She believes it gives them more freedom in their art by not having to stick to tubes of paint to determine what their finished product will look like. Throughout the process, she loves to watch her students grow, build excitement about their new skills and create something beautiful.

Finding the Foundry

Croghan had known about the Foundry since it was built in 2004, but in 2011 when one of her students suggested she apply for a studio artist position, a new world of opportunity had just begun to open up for her.

After being juried into the Foundry, Croghan felt she was in her perfect workspace. Without the distractions of working from her home, she felt more creative than ever. Being surrounded by other artists motivated and challenged her to new heights with her work.

Another studio artists pushed Croghan’s limits by challenging her to a black and white painting competition. Being a colorist and refusing to buy black paint, it was required of her to create black paint out of color. Moments like this with the other artists is what makes Croghan remember she’s in the right place.

“I plan on staying here until they force me out,” Croghan laughed. “I always say they’re going to have to wheel me out of here when I die.”

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Frenchtown St. Charles, Missouri