Anita Duhon was born in Philadelphia and lived her early years in the suburbs before moving with her family to Mexico City. During that time, she discovered her passion for art and was consistently encouraged by art teachers who recognized her natural talent. However, after a very brief college stint - perhaps influenced by her father, who said she would be “wasting her intellect” by pursuing a career in art – she chose to pursue a career in the corporate world that included top management positions over 46 years.
But the love of art never left her, and she continued to draw in her free time. Drawings of people and animals dominated this early work utilizing pencil, pastels, or charcoal. Family and friends were often gifted with portraits of their relatives and pets. She still considered herself to be just an illustrator and “lazy artist” and shied away from painting because it would require cleanup.
When her daughter asked her to attempt a painting for her college dorm room, she realized that she actually loved this medium because it provided a broader way of displaying her creativity. When asked what she would do after decades of highly pressured positions in the corporate world, her answer was always “do my art.”
No truer words were spoken because, since retirement, she has worked with the same intensity and dedication to creating art that she did in the corporate world. Day in and day out, she spends her time in her studio drawing and painting and examining countless videos to learn new mediums and techniques. While crisp detail still dominates most of her work, she often breaks out of that paradigm by relaxing into a more abstract style.
She continues to gravitate to figurative subject matter, often combining mediums such as watercolor, acrylic, gold leaf, colored pencil, graphite pencil, and pen and ink. When her naturally anxious mind overwhelms her, she rescues it by spending hours creating detailed mandalas.
Landscapes are also a part of her subject matter; her technique often ping-ponging between detailed realism and abstraction. Perhaps this style contradiction reflects her personality, illustrating the controlled and disciplined qualities that drove her success in her past work life and the free and easy, relaxed mindset she now seeks.
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