Process may be one of my favorite parts of art. The making. The insistent need to make. The way we make. 

The complete abandonment of self, to make. To understand a problem, the need for food can be completely forgotten until we pull our heads up out of our trance, suddenly struck with starvation.

 A problem to solve can look very different for us. And how. What does it mean to comprehend the light, the movement, and then imprint this onto a 2D surface. 

Clash of colors can vibrate and make the work sing. And who is better to think about this than Anne Hysell.

The attention to details and perhaps rules, guides the viewer to a delightful place. 

Hysell’s compositions of color, light and form provide a fresh awareness and a unique perception of land and water. 

The impact of a fleeting moment becomes an expression of timelessness in her paintings. 

Working primarily with pastels and oils, layers of color provide the richness and depth infused in her landscape paintings.

My first impression of Anne stems from her presentation of her palette. 

A glorious thing, placed on the wall next to her framed work. Mind you, it was abstract dashes and color, not a Bob Ross or artist costume prop. It was process in motion and she knew to celebrate this.

Anne has lived all over the world in her life, from Boston to Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong to across the South West. 

Born in Minnesota, Anne studied at the College of Art and Design at the University of Minnesota and then later at University of Houston.

Anne has opened three art galleries along the way. 

Locally, she is a founding member of Studio Two Zero Two. 

She has agreed to show with the newest kid on the block, Combine Art Collective when it opens later this summer, early fall. 

Like many artists, she feels the tug to stay in the studio or to administrate the showing of the work.

Presently, Anne is looking for a new studio to return to large canvasses. 

In her present living environment, she must work small for lack of making space. 

When Anne came for her portrait, she removed her elegant blouse, and donned a white shirt. 

If you look, the tracks of her paintbrush are indiscriminate in their need to be refreshed.

How long have you been in the Walla Walla Valley? 121/2 years

What moves you, what brings you most alive? What is your favorite place to be in Walla Walla County? What do you hear, taste, and smell there?

In painting, what moves me and brings me most alive is the earth and all its startling beauty and fierce splendor. When husband Bob designed and built our home on Kendall Road, my surroundings became the subject of my paintings. My cherished Greybill Pond provided four seasons of changing and challenging waterscapes. And the trees, fields and the Blues provided the subjects for landscapes. Now that our residence has changed you might sight me plying the country roads in search of new vistas.

A hug or a handshake? By nature I’m a hugger but, I do know when to keep my arms to myself and shake hands.

Do you nap? A 15-minute nap every day suits me well.

Music or quiet, when you work? When working in my studio there is music … always … and primarily classical. But, some paintings require Willie Nelson and others Dave Brubeck or Lady Gaga.

What is something we should know, that we don’t? The first painting I ever sold was to the art editor of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. His significant other was the one who wanted it.

Were you sickly or isolated when you were young? I missed all but the first six weeks of first grade because of health issues. I was hospitalized and slept in white sheets, in a white room, ate white rice and cut zillions of snowflakes out of white toilet paper. I still like white sheets, white walls, white rice, white toilet paper — but, forget the snowflakes.

Describe a pivotal moment in your life. When in junior high, clothing design took precedence and that led to figurative work which was the mainstay of my painting and drawing for years. Then came a move to the Southwest, Arizona and Southern California and finally to Sonoma, Calif., … a pivotal time in my life. The light, the color, the rhythm of the land captured me and painting landscapes became my new mode of expression.

But, watch — there may be a shift once again — once she finds a new studio location. 

Augusta Sparks Farnum is a resident artist at Studio Two Zero Two, 202 Main St. To learn more about her work, see For more about the gallery, see

Recommended for you