Get ready to dazzle your home or business with a "steal" from Anee Ward's collection of "renewed" works of art at unbelievable prices. But that's what auctions are all about, unless you square up against an equally enthusiastic Ward collector. Then, just be the last signatory on the bidding sheet at the closing bell, 5:30 p.m. sharp.
Ward's one-and-a half hour "Ignite Joy Silent Auction" is April 4 from 4-5:30 p.m. at the Martini Tree Bar, located upstairs over Rhoda's Restaurant, in the Taos Ski Valley Resort Center opposite Lift 1. Ward will offer a 10-minute talk titled "Rise" at 5 p.m., but you have to be there to hear what it's all about. She wouldn't cave and tell me anything. Hmm.
"These are original canvases with starting bids between $45 and up to $450," Ward said a couple weeks ago, in her home studio off Blueberry Hill Road, surrounded by 30 of her mostly finished artworks.
The $450 piece she retails for about $4,500 is a large canvas with a Taos tractor amid tilled fields and land dotted with Black Angus cattle in the distance, all at the base of a mountain reminiscent of Pueblo Peak, the main mountain anchoring the Sangre de Cristos to surrounding Taos Pueblo lands. You just want to haul your butt up to that tractor seat and spend a lifetime tilling the landscape in preparation for spring planting, all while anticipating abundant summer harvests. A joyful experience - all without leaving your living room!
"And that's what it's really all about, isn't it? Joy and fun," Ward said, almost apologizing for her upbeat energy and the enjoyment she's getting revisiting past paintings, some from 10 or 20 years ago.
"I was getting ready to put most of these into storage, where they would never probably be seen again, and then I realized I could add things or take things away, making them new again, just by reviewing the style, the place, the rhythm and the tempo. It's so playful!"
"This is a half-life opportunity," Ward said, meaning she is at 52 years old and "hopefully" will live into her 100s. "And this is awesome for people to get something real for so little money."
In one piece she turned a telemark skier on spring terrain into a winter piece, inspired by near-record snows during this 2018-19 ski season.
"I'm having a blast," she said. "Every night I come home and I look at my pile of paintings and ask what am I going to work on - like this one here from Maui," she pointed to a peace-filling abode painted in Hawaii, and another from Portillo, Chile.
Yes, Ward is a world traveler and she comes by it with the added influence of her Himalaya-trekking mother, Anne Batterson. By age 26, Ward was an EMT and a co-leader in two treks to Nepal.
Her "sport" paintings express her athleticism - her love of skiing and golf, her love of horses, dogs, cats, chickens - oh the chickens - not to mention sunflowers and orchids, all things natural. Basically, if it's gorgeous or inspiring Ward will express it.
She does plein air painting while she travels, shlepping canvases and stretchers and a huge crate of painting gear on and off planes and trains and automobiles. She pooh-poohs my comment that she's a "master logistician," but such prowess should be taught to equally avid traveler-type artists who settle for sketchbooks and cellphone shot to tide them over till they get home to their studios.
Now at midlife, Ward's day job finds her coordinating a speaker series at Taos Ski Valley Resort and her nighttimes filled with painting.
"Right now, having the security of another job, as opposed to transient jobs like in the first part of my life, I've learned that job security has made me more creative," she said. As for the auction, she is looking forward to it more each day.
"I'm excited to see who chooses what. It will be fun for me."
To see the full lineup of auction pieces, go to FacebookAneeWard.com or also aneeward.com. She can be reached at (575) 741-0703.
In order to read our site, please exit private/incognito mode or log in to continue.