Artist Ann Speltz

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I am an independent artist who began painting in 2010. My guides in exploring this medium have been, in chronological order, the portrait artist Jason Miklik; the surrealist painter Eleanor Spiess-Ferris; and Helen Oh, master of multi-layered painting techniques perfected by Dutch and Italian Baroque painters. My early efforts focused on the human figure; my current work focuses on still life, cityscape, and landscape. I have learned a great deal about materials and painting methods by reading books, e.g., Carlson's Guide to Landscape Painting by John F. Carlson, Landscape Painting by Mitchell Albala, and Hawthorne on Painting collected by Mrs. Charles Hawthorne, as well as by copying master paintings by artists such as Van Gogh, Vermeer, Flegel, Cezanne, and Turner. During the quarantine months of 1920-21 I focused on drawing the figure, through Zoom classes with Helen Oh and Susan O'Neill, based in Alexandria, Virginia. Learning to “speak” through the visual language of painting was preceded by a lifetime of immersion in the language of the written word. I hold a B. A. in English from Macalester College, and a Ph.D. in English Literature from Stony Brook University. As president and founder of Kid Support, Inc., I created the leading peer support program for children living with cancer in the family. I am the author of a children’s book, The Year My Mother Was Bald (Magination Press, 2003), and developed and taught more than twenty interdisciplinary courses for academically talented students, ages six through fourteen, enrolled in Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development. As a Senior Editor of the Great Books Foundation, I co-created and co-authored the original edition of the Junior Great Books Reading, Writing, and Discussion Curriculum (grades K-12). Prior to that, I served as Associate Dean and taught humanities and composition courses in the College of Continuing Education [...]

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