By Terry Sanville
It seems that artist Anna Meyrick is trending backwards – choosing mosaic, an ancient art form developed by the Greeks in the fourth century B.C. And, her personal journey has led her from rural Oregon to California. Aren’t most people moving in the opposite direction? But trends have seldom bothered Anna.
Born in Portland, Oregon in 1969, Anna grew up twelve miles from that city in Clackamas County on a half-acre home site next to the woods. Her father was an outdoorsman, her mother a housewife interested in art and a multitude of crafts. The conifer forests and the Northwest’s weather became Anna’s touchstones, and she relished the fall and winter seasons when the skies were not sunny all day.
“We have way too much sun here in California,” Anna said, smiling. She misses the fog, the overcast, the crisp cold days where wearing her long woolen coat felt so comforting.
In high school in Oregon City, Anna took as many art classes as possible. She played on the school’s basketball team and was voted most valuable player her freshman year. But shyness coupled with her height set her apart, and she readily took on a non-conformist persona.
“I never felt comfortable dressing like everyone else. I would alter clothes and create my own style and look.”
While others listened to bubblegum rock, she became a Grateful Dead fan and developed an affinity for the counterculture that surrounded the band.
Anna attended Portland State University and received a degree in Psychology and Art. She had been teaching art to kids since she was sixteen, and continued after receiving her degree, focusing on classes for at-risk children at private schools and for non-profit organizations. Along the way, she got married and divorced. She now has a grown son and daughter.
In 2001, Anna’s mother was working on a project to “mosaic” a flowerpot. She disliked how it was turning out and gave it to her daughter. Anna’s love for mosaic blossomed. Her work ranges from highly colorful pieces to the more somber and mysterious. The mosaics are filled with symbolism and portray both overt and covert messages, from a “Make Art Not War” piece to others that employ Native American icons such as the raven and coyote.
In 2013, Anna and her male partner moved to the Asuncion part of North SLO County.
“Moving here was the scariest thing I’d ever done. I left my State, sold my home, closed my business, and ended a 15-year career. I used to have a salaried position that supported my art habit. That security is gone; it’s frightening and freeing at the same time.”
Anna is slowly working her way into SLO County’s art scene and gaining confidence. Her home studio sits atop a hill surrounded by almond trees. She makes her own ceramic tiles used in her mosaics. Sometimes she comes up with a complete idea and meticulously constructs the image. Other times, she designs and installs the central tiles and lets the piece grow organically until it’s complete.
Anna’s mosaics are available for sale at The Gallery in the Network in downtown San Luis Obispo and at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles. Visit her website at www.annameyrickmosaics.com for an image gallery and feel free to contact Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about art classes for children and adults.