Paige Crosland Anderson: The White Series


Paige Crosland Anderson has a new series of paintings she calls the White Series.  Most of the paintings will be on display at a duo-show called Two Lines at the Meyer Gallery in Park City, Utah. The opening reception is on Friday, August 28th, from 6-9:00 p.m. Anderson lives in Utah with her husband and two children and was featured on The Krakens previously for A Bright Recollection.

Paige5 Paige1 Paige3 Paige6 Paige4

Tell us about your White Series. In a nutshell it’s all a meditation on creation. I think it all started when a passage from Terryl and Fiona Given’s book “The God Who Weeps” stood out to me. The passage talked about Enoch and creating a Zion society. It postulated that maybe we are forming heaven right now; forming it with the materials around us as we love and serve each other; that maybe “Heaven is not a club we enter. Heaven is a state we attain, in accordance with our ‘capacity to receive’ a blessed and sanctified nature.” This idea resonated with me and I began to fixate on it as I painted. My work is already tied to this notion that we are creating something bigger than ourselves as we engage in the small daily acts that constitute the miracles of our lives. It was a natural jump to think about creation in bigger contexts as well.

I spent some time looking at Hubble Telescope photos and became humbled and amazed once again by the majesty of our Heavenly Father and his creations. The virtual space exploration made me want to paint something heavenly and ethereal. I loved this idea that I could take something geometric and rigid in form and make it read as something soft and inviting. I also really wanted to focus on this idea that we are increasing our capacity for sanctification by working on creating blessed relationships and making our lives a little more heavenly. Thus the “White Series” was born.

As I’ve worked I continued to read and look and take in as much as I could that would fuel the visual aesthetic and the intellectual engine behind the work. Just last night I came across a passage in Romans 1 about those who, “worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator,” a good reminder of who deserves the praise for the beauty in our lives. I hope I translate it well into tapestries that bring us a little closer to our Creator as we ponder what we are doing each day to create—whether it’s meaningful experiences, families, beautiful homes, worthy goals of any sort.

Your work is so connected to your family–do you struggle to title the pieces for fear of making them too personal? I have found that titling is becoming increasingly important to me. I don’t struggle because I’m afraid they’ll be too personal, but I’m anxious about giving the viewer just enough to get them started on engaging with the work without pigeon-holing what they perceive that the work is about. I want to provide the context to have an experience with the painting. Some of them reference a person, usually a “He” in my title is a reference to the Divine. I hope titles like, “The Sum of Our Ceremonies,” or “Slight Inclination of Each Day”  reiterate the idea that we are building, small yet significantly, every day towards something celestial.

What’s next? I have a few commissions to tackle and then I think I’ll take a bit of a breather and get to a few non-art projects that have been on the back burner for a while. The next body of work I want to make will allow me to meditate on prayer. I have a few titles I need to create a visual for. There are so many good visually descriptive passages on prayer just in the standard works alone. I hope to also participate in a winter market of some sort or another sell some small paintings. After making big ones all summer, I’m itching to go small again. It’s good to switch it up.

Visit Paige Crosland Anderson’s website.

Follow Paige Crosland Anderson on Instagram.


Paige Crosland Anderson: A Bright Recollection

Looking Up She Blessed

Paige Crosland Anderson grew up in Provo, Utah in a tight-knit family. After traveling for grad school and internships she and her husband settled in Salt Lake City with their two daughters. Her family has creative strains on both sides and she says, “My desire to speak to the importance of the connection we have to our families is central to my work.”

Winds and PraisesAnderson Scattered_At_The_Time An_Innumerable_Company Anderson+-+A+Bright+Recollection+web

Your paintings have a definite style–I would call it geometric. With regards to how I developed my current “style” I’d say it grew out of the concept I was trying hard as a student at BYU to convey. I wanted to talk about ancestry; what we inherit, what we pass on; this idea that we are inextricably linked in both directions and that we are trying to simultaneously claim that inheritance and leave one to our posterity. This idea coupled with how much I was looking at pedigree charts, naturally led me to patterns. Compounding this was my grandmother’s influence who is an award-winning quilter. As a student I used patterns from William Morris to common quilt patterns to designs I would make up. Now I stick to a few patterns that are primarily drawn from traditional pioneer quilts. I think quilts give a good nod to women and women’s work. They seem like something many people physically inherit. I’m also very interested in the meditative processes involved in many domestic crafts like quilting and like to incorporate that methodical feel to my work.

Describe your process. I begin by getting out my rulers and drawing out the pattern. Then I’ll paint the pattern in full, let that dry, and paint it again in different colors. I generally do this until it is about 3-4 layers deep in most places–depends on the painting–and use a power sander to break down through the layers and expose the various marks and colors beneath. After I’ll go back to the easel and paint in shapes that don’t aid in the composition or don’t have particularly interesting colors or textures. I alternate between painting and sanding until I’m happy with the composition and colors. I loved printmaking as a student because of the thrill of not knowing exactly what was going to come out the other side of the press (maybe this is just because I was an unpracticed printmaker), but I like to think that sanding gives me that same sense of anticipation as I wait to see what I uncover.

The whole process start to finish is very meditative. It’s rhythmic and methodical. I enjoy this part of the process and also think it lends to the meaning behind my work—that we are building on what was given to us, that the mistakes can turn out to be beautiful, that by doing the same small acts day in and day out we create meaning and vibrancy, even though while we’re in the middle of the dredges it might not seem that way. We often assume that something with routine and method is also predictable. Life experience, however, shows us otherwise. We soon discover that we’ve grossly underestimated the sum or our ceremonies.

After graduating from BYU, tell us about your progress on the commercial side. I had my first daughter a few months before receiving my BFA at BYU. Also at the time, I knew my husband’s schooling would soon take us to Italy and Washington, D.C. Needless to say, I really thought that my artistic season would be on hiatus for a while, at least in a serious way. My husband urged me to get supplies out and get working again. While in Washington, D.C. the next year, I started painting patterns again. I began with some landscapes and other things but found that I missed that contemplative repetitiveness that painting patterns gave me. I sold a few paintings to friends that year and left a painting with our landlord as a thank you before moving to Utah.

A few months later (after the birth of my second daughter) a friend of my previous landlord called up, told me she had seen my work and loved it, that she was in Salt Lake and would be at my house in an hour to see some paintings. I was panicked. All I had was a few watercolors and had a few unfinished studies. She came, stayed for hours and we talked art and she really lit a fire in me. She put together an art show that hung at Communal Restaurant in Provo for a few months. Coincidentally, Susan Meyer (a gallery owner in Park City) spoke in Provo during that same time. I reached out and asked if she’d like to grab a bite at Communal after her talk. She agreed, but said she didn’t think the timing was right for her to talk representation at that point. I didn’t mind, I was just excited to meet. She was enthusiastic about my work as soon as she saw it hung and by the end of the night we had an agreement to show at her gallery.

That was a little over a year ago. Since then things have picked up for me in a lot of ways. I used to think as a student that going the commercial route seemed to be “selling out” in some way, that I’d lose my artistic identity or creative force. I’ve found just the opposite to be true. I’ve never been more productive, had reason to work so hard and meet so many great people through art.

Visit Paige Crosland Anderson’s website.

Follow Paige Crosland Anderson on Instagram.


Paige Anderson