My desire to create images originates in an early passion for pictures and paintings. Some of my fondest memories are of my illustrated childhood books, read over and over again, as much for the pictures as for the words. My dream then was to be an illustrator of children’s books. Growing up in the Newton suburbs outside of Boston, where I was born, I was close to the Museum of Fine Arts. I was enrolled in a Saturday-morning art class by parents who always encouraged my interest in drawing, but I soon stopped attending in order to roam the more interesting museum. It was a wonderful introduction to seeing: having little knowledge of art history, I was free to admire or dislike as I wandered. The Oriental art rooms particularly impressed me.
I attended Smith College as a studio art major and took my junior year abroad in Paris. I studied woodcutting at Smith with Seong Moy and learned etching techniques with Johnny Friedlaender in Paris. Taking advantage of the printing expertise to be found in the ateliers in Paris where I now live permanently, I made several hundred editions of etchings and (returning to my first love) books with poet friends. For the past ten years, I’ve been working with gouache and pastel, which has led to the series of “painted books” that I now make, either in small editions hand-inscribed by the author or as one-of-a-kind pieces. The texts are by poets whom I know personally and with whom I work closely, both French and American, or from departed poets whose poems particularly move me, such as Emily Dickinson or Gerard de Nerval.
Statement courtesy of Anne Walker