PROFILE - Autumn 2018
Textile and Watercolour Artist
Fibre Art and watercolours combine in the pallet of Elora artist Anne Luxton. Elegant lines of grasses are scratched like intaglio against a wash of clouded sky. Delicate white skeletons of fish speak of environmental distress; the roof of a farm house barely appears above a hill in a broad landscape; a simple boat under a flock of birds. There is a whimsical element and a joy of venture and experiment in the canvases hung around Anne's studio.
Though Anne was taught by her mother to stich, knit, sew, pull threads and embroider, she didn't come to really engage in fibre arts till later in life. She had travelled, lived in England, had a career as a model in Toronto and Paris, married and had two children before encountering the events which guided her way to self-expression through art.
After a reset in family life, she came home to Canada and. seeking further education, went to an experimental 'cram school' at U of T which included courses in English Literature, art classes, drawing, and Japanese painting. In time, Anne shared space with a decorator friend who was a teacher in textile arts at Sheridan College. Anne was a sort of Girl -Friday to this friend who couldn't drive, and they went to Sheridan together daily. This led to Anne taking art and textile related courses at Sheridan as well., She was greatly encouraged when her work was marked "A". Here she met her future husband, Darcy, again, whom she had known when young. He had 4 children and she had 2, so now they had 6 children between them. This made for a lively household!
From childhood, Anne's early education was marked by many moves, attending numerous schools, and by the limitations of dyslexia, a disability in reading which requires special teaching methods. She struggled to university level, taking History of Art at Brescia Hall, University of Western Ontario, but it was difficult. And from an art point of view Anne says she did not have good training when she was young.
But with her newly acquired art skills from Sheridan, Anne had her first show at an Oakville Art Gallery in 1986-87. Since then she has gone on to win many prizes and to participate in seminal developments in the world of Canadian Fibre Art.
With Darcy and the enlarged family, she moved to Hamilton. Later, when Darcy retired, they came to West Garafraxa, living a country lifestyle. Anne became a member of the Canadian Embroiderers' Guild, Guelph, taking classes every Wednesday, which expanded her technical vocabulary in both traditional and peripheral ways. She volunteered on the Executive of the Guild. She was fortunate to work with a small, visionary group of about 20 members who started the well- known Fibre Art group CONNECTIONS. This group met at each others' houses and sometimes shared stimulating weekend outings and workshops. Anne made friends.
CONNECTIONS has gone on to become a force in the fabric art world, developing themed shows which travel extensively. Members work together to raise awareness of fibre art, to develop their talents by exchanging ideas, skills and techniques. Members teach, give lectures, and exhibit both as a group and independently, nationally and internationally.
Later Anne and Darcy moved to Elora, participating in the Studio Tour, Threadworks, Edna's Online Gallery and for 10 years she has been a supportive member of the Grand Bend Studio Tour, initiated by owning a cottage in the area.
Their children are a large part of Anne's life. She has made delightful self-portrait books for each child, collages of mixed media with images relevant to each one individually.She also has many delightful pictures suitable for children on Edna's Room, a website selling contemporary art for babies, children and the young at heart
. Anne also loves to garden, and says Darcy is a great and encouraging fan! Her art work is permanently available at Baillie's Gallery in Grand Bend, and cards are sold at the wool shop on Mill Street, Elora.
Recently Anne has turned more toward watercolours, engaging with a supportive group at the Victoria Park Senior's Centre. Her recent work will be exhibited in the Council Chamber of the Municipal Building, Elora, from mid-October to January.
Interview by Beverley Cairns
is the Newsletter of the Elora Arts Council, published quarterly since 1985
Each publication features an artist living in the area of Centre Wellington.
129 Profiles have been published.
In 2005 the book Profiles was published featuring 75 artists from every artistic discipline.