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Anna Feil and her fabulous women

By Lucia Viti

Uptown artist ‘thrilled’ to be part of ArtWalk @ Liberty Station

Anna Feil, Uptown resident and artist, imagines a parlor brimming with eccentric and formidable women who refuse to be anything but fabulous. Feil’s future “Puppet Girl Parlor” will showcase her signature, textured paintings of all things imperfectly beautiful.

For those curious to peruse her artwork today, Feil will present her paintings at ArtWalk @ Liberty Station on Aug. 12 and 13.

‘Damsels’ (Artwork photo courtesy of Anna Feil)

Feil’s original work will be among 200 local, regional and international artists staging their paintings, sculptures, photography, jewelry, and work in glass, metal and wood.

Burrowed within the park venue of Ingram Plaza, ArtWalk @ Liberty Station will also host live music, dancing, a beer and wine pavilion, and its popular KidsWalk with family-friendly, interactive art activities.

“Liberty Station’s Ingram Plaza is the perfect place to highlight and celebrate fine art,” said Sandi Cottrell, ArtWalk @ Liberty Station’s managing director. “Highly coveted spaces [only 50 percent of applicants are chosen] will showcase seasoned artists and proven new talents like Anna’s playful, colorful and whimsical work.”

‘Flora’s Fairytale’ (Artwork photo courtesy of Anna Feil)

Feil is recognized for her expressive, vibrantly colorful, flawed portraits of women. Noting that her figures “are not fine,” she relishes in imperfection.

“My work is a dialogue between my imagination, my intuition and my imperfections,” she said. “Self-improvisation evolves from self-inspiration.”

Using “a lot” of mixed media, Feil ventures through antique parlors and estate sales searching for collectible photographs, magazines, vintage clothing and fabrics to incorporate as textured fragments into her paintings.

“My paintings are character studies of all things vintage,” she said. “My paintings are beautiful explorations created in constant state of flux. I create my own realm of femininity using wax, paint, color, fabric, photographs, everything vintage plus anything that strikes my fancy.”

Feil also utilizes the Encaustic method for layering texture on canvas. The unique “ancient” Egyptian method manipulates beeswax, resin and oil paint. Melted beeswax serves as a painting component that jumbles the artistic outcome by wreaking havoc into a “defining foundation.”

“I’ve always been intrigued by the Encaustic method,” she said. “I paint with oils, overlay fabric, place a glaze of wax over the top and scrape and scrape with a razor blade. I constantly add and rework every piece. Although I’m always surprised by the outcome, I honestly have no control over the outcome. I simply embrace every happy accident as a fun surprise.”

‘Delilah’s Dream’ (Artwork photo courtesy of Anna Feil)

Portraits are composed naturally, with little attention to structure.

“My art flows organically because I stumble when I try to make things happen. I can start with something subtle but it usually turns into something else. So, I accept whatever way my art chooses to flow,” Feil said.

“Anna uses wax to create colorful, abstract depictions of women,” Cottrell said. “Her paintings are like a bright San Diego summer day!”

Feil’s love of rich colors stems from her admiration of German Expressionist painters like Otto Dix and California artist Joan Brown.

“Color is healing,” she said. “Color evokes a mood. Color makes me happy.”

The Florida native spent six years in Hawaii before setting up her home and art studio with her husband and daughter Pearl in the Uptown area. Inspired by her love of San Diego — “the people, San Diego’s beauty and of course, the beach” — Feil paints “all aspects of my life.”

“I’m inspired by everything that I see,” she said. “Pearl inspires me. Street signs inspire me. A vintage dress can inspire me to design a pattern. I’m even inspired by people-watching at a laundromat.”

‘Girls Who Fish’ (Artwork photo courtesy of Anna Feil)

Inspiration becomes artistic endeavors.

“My paintings are a response to people I meet, colors I see, textures I touch and the energy that surrounds me,” she continued. “Women inspire me. My work thrives on the strength of women.”

Feil — who earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia — spends her days working with children with autism.

“I work full-time, but I paint constantly,” she said. “After caring for my husband and my 11-year-old, I paint. Any and all extra time is devoted to painting.”

And the artist has only tapped the surface. Feil’s concept of the Puppet Girl Parlor, her Instagram handle, is an artistic endeavor, decades in the making that will one day become a reality.

“For the past 20 years, I’ve imagined creating a parlor with all things beautiful and feminine,” she said. “Puppet Girl Parlor will be a large, open-space gallery for women artists to show their work. I envision an old building with high ceilings, filled with cool furniture and fabrics. Puppet Girl Parlor will be a great hang-out spot to enjoy art, meet people and take it all in. Our motto, Puppet Girl Parlor says that we — women — pull our own strings.”

But for now, Feil sells her work from her home studio. The first-time denizen of ArtWalk @ Liberty Station said she was “thrilled” to be selected for this year’s 12th anniversary event.

A steady stream of more than 25,000 people are expected to meander through the grassy park. Cottrell described the art fair as an opportunity to enjoy art at a free, family-friendly, public event.

“ArtWalk is not only my passion,” Cottrell said. “ArtWalk @ Liberty Station is a passion for the artists, its sponsors and its audience,” concluded Cottrell.

—Contact Lucia Viti at luciaviti@roadrunner.com.

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