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August 3, 2018

Americana, Pop & Pigtails: Western culture visits the streets of Japan

By Anne Laddon

Americana, Pop & Pigtails: Western culture visits the streets of Japan

Anne Laddon began creating limited edition silkscreen prints in the early 1970s as a founding artist at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. Moving to the east coast with a Californian’s sense of color and light, her work was graphic, colorful, and strong. She had a studio/gallery there for ten years developing a collection of silkscreens some described as ‘pop’. These were hand-pulled with many stenciled layers, up to 45 separate colors, and took four to six weeks to complete. Her subjects ranged from typewriters, to juke boxes, to cameras, and bicycles.

In 1981 Anne spent a month travelling in Japan, inspiring her to create a life size self portrait as an American tourist. In those days she took her trusty Nikon everywhere and included it in the piece, along with Japanese paper designs, a postcard home, and her name in Japanese characters.

Once she moved to the Central Coast in the mid 1980s thousands of these prints and posters were stored away at the family ranch and forgotten. Until a few months ago! A recent internet encounter with this 1981 silkscreen image, and friends’ questions about it, reminded Anne of that trip to Japan and the self-portrait it inspired. … created almost 40 years ago! This original piece and others from that era can be viewed in her Paso Robles studio.

Anne began oil painting in the early 1990s focusing on oils and later on pastels, each process informing the other. Working with these mediums are much more direct and less labor intensive than the lengthy process required for the creation of her multiple layered silkscreens. In addition her passion for the Central Coast can be seen in the direct and fresh paintings done “en plein air”.

Last summer Anne discovered the dramatic beauty of the coastline along the Point Buchon Trail in Los Osos and has created several paintings from her hikes along the trail. Some are available as they were created; others have been expanded and developed more deeply in her studio.

However, it’s easy to see her passion for color and design in her numerous paintings of the central coast, which can be seen in her studio at Studios on the Park, downtown Paso Robles or on her website at www.AnneLaddon.com.

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