Shine a Light: The Art of Ann’s Greenlake

My friend, Jodi, is the kind of person who brings thoughtful gifts like homemade granola and Italian plums plucked from the tree in her backyard when you invite her over to drink wine and deconstruct Project Runway.

wine for girls night

A giant bag of locally grown Concord Grapes she gave me inspired my Concord Grape Extravaganza last year.

Jodi’s hand has made a cameo appearance on this blog before. Her hand is the one with the graceful fan of fingers, slim wrist, nice manicure. The one near the corks with the purple polish, pink ring…that’s my paw.

Jodi is the daughter of an artist, Ann Norton, who resided in the Seattle’s Greenlake neighborhood for over thirty years. I love Ann’s paintings.

anns greenlake shelves

This black cat should be an art studio muse or a reading nook companion.

black cat by Ann Norton

Ann Norton’s paintings are whimsical, emotional, vibrant. They speak for her now since her own voice has been fogged by Alzheimer’s disease.

My friend is shining a light on the world by sharing her mother’s art. Shine your light for the world to see.

I’d like to let Jodi’s words tell you more of their story:

My mom, Ann Norton, has always been a proud woman, one who let very few people if any get close to her, including me.

Ann Norton Vancouver 1950s

When the reality of her Alzheimer’s diagnosis finally sunk in I knew the road ahead was going to be a long, treacherous one for both of us.

Bright Spot by Ann Norton While going through our family home, to my surprise, I discovered hundreds of paintings my mom had created. As I looked through them, I remembered seeing her sit in her window seat, dabbing paper with a paintbrush. I asked her once what she was doing and she simply replied, “Oh, just doodling.” As I went to take a closer look, I was amazed at how beautiful her “doodles” were. I told her so. She said, “It just helps calm my nerves and keeps my mind at ease.”

What was so amazing about her art was the emotional connection I felt immediately just looking at it. Her art spoke to me like she never had.

Bubble Gum Tree by Ann NortonThere is a quiet serenity about her paintings though they harbor powerful emotions. They hold a sense of humor, a personality, perhaps a piece of her soul that communicates the joy and charm she didn’t express in her everyday life. When she felt compelled to paint, she simply grabbed any nearby scrap of paper, back of a product carton, or a piece of a cardboard box to get started.

I am blessed to feel this connection to my mom through her art. This connection as well as the emotion and beauty of my mom’s paintings are what drove me to share Ann’s Greenlake with you.

~Jodi Norton, daughter/curator

Prints of Ann Norton’s work are available for purchase here on Etsy. And Jodi has designed greeting cards from her mom’s paintings which are also available at the Ann’s Greenlake Etsy store. Ten percent of sales are donated to The Alzheimer’s Association.

Selected works from Ann’s Greenlake are currently on display through the end of May as part of the Freemont Art Walk. Several Seattle neighborhoods host art walks every month. Local galleries and businesses show art, serve wine and cheese and snacks. It’s cool and laid back. Art and snacks…I’m in!

Happy Mother’s Day! Oink for art. Oink to daughters and sons who give clarity and conjure beauty, life, a voice from what might otherwise undo them.

Anns Greenlake sunflower paintings

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2 Responses to Shine a Light: The Art of Ann’s Greenlake

  1. What a beautiful, touching story. And those paintings do speak with way more than mere words. Thanks for sharing it with us-whoever we may be.

  2. Ali says:

    What a beautiful team of voices at the market! And such delights for the eyes, as usual. Thanks for sharing this.