Anna Halldin-Maule’s Head For Fashion

by Melissa Fox

Anna Halldin Maule has a quirky sense of humor. You’ve got to when you spend eight hours a day, six days a week with your face inches from canvas and a nose full of oil paints. But what her humour and patience produce are masterworks of art, almost indiscernible from photographic images.

Anna’s a student of the old masters, employing the time honored techniques and “super tiny brushes” to achieve that extreme extent of detail and the rich, multifaceted tones. The process is time consuming to say the least, but it offers the artist  more of a reward.

“Pedestal 02″ (above) is a prime example. Part of her “A Head For Fashion” Series, Anna has explored the relationship between women and fashion in a new light: ”I believe my work to be unique and representative of the joys and quirks of being a woman obsessed with today’s fashion-culture.”

These large, oil-on-canvas paintings reflect her own love and discomfort with the world of high fashion. But, they are truly tongue in cheek, and “meant to poke a little fun at how obsessive women can get over brands and labels, and how sometimes “suffer” for their love of fashion.”

Before she was painting these fashionably half-naked ladies, Anna drew her inspiration from the warmth and vibrancy of her home -  Anna lives on the island of Kauai with her husband Tom. The pair are a match made in heaven – with his camera and her brush, only beauty can be made.

The trompe l’oeil ladies have garnered global  recognition – they’ve been featured on numerous blogs and in shows in Palm Beach, Beverly Hills, London, Boca-Raton and Honolulu.

Although she’s busy in her studio, working on the next in her series, Anna had a few minutes to to talk about her work, her process and her inspirations.

How did you get started as an artist?

I met my husband in my native Sweden in 2001. After 9/11 we decided to move to Tom’s home of Hawaii, and focus on art full time. He is a photographer and we work together to create the reference photos for my paintings. I have always been painting, but meeting Tom was the kick in the butt I needed to get started for real. I quit my job, left my family and friends and moved to Hawaii to pursue my love for art. It was the best decision I ever made. Always follow your passion and wonderful things will happen to you.

Where did you study?

I studied art in Sweden where I grew up. My grandfather, also an artist, was a tremendous influence. He taught me to have fun with the medium and not to be intimidated by oil paint. Spending time with him in his studio was magical. All the paint tubes everywhere, the smell of turpentine – it was heaven. I went to art school, but my grandfather was my greatest teacher.

Where does your inspiration come from?

My 24 cats. No really, my eyes and thoughts are always tuned to my next painting or my next series. Inspiration can come at anytime and from anywhere, whether it be from films, books, music, etc.

Is there a message in your work?

Love fashion, but don’t let it consume you.

What’s your technique?

I paint in thin layers of oil, it’s called glazing. Layers upon layers of paint and medium. It’s very time consuming but it’s so beautiful the way it makes the paint glow.

What are your mediums?

I work with oil paint, I just love everything about it. The texture, the flow, the smell. There’s nothing like it.

Are you a huge fan of fashion?

Huge! Yes, you can say I am. I read every fashion magazine I can put my hands on.

Which of your pieces was/would it be hardest to part with and why?

It’s a cliché, and I hate to say it, but it’s always the painting which I am currently working on. These paintings can take me months to paint and they become so much a part of me. Typically I’ll spend 6 days a week, 8 hours a day painting. When you’re spending this much time with any one painting you really get attached.

What artists do you admire?

Chuck Close, Luciano Ventrone, Marina Abramovic, Andy Goldsworthy, Bill Bryson (an artist with words), DVF, Alexander McQueen.

If you weren’t creating art, what would you be doing?

Pushing daisies!

3 Responses to “Anna Halldin-Maule’s Head For Fashion”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Think CONTRA, Lauren Festa. Lauren Festa said: Anna Halldin-Maule's Head For Fashion [...]

  2. Greg Keane says:

    Why I want to go buy a bag now?

  3. [...] Magazine Interview by admin on Dec 18, 2011 • 4:45 pm No Comments Anna’s interview with CONTRA. (Article will open in new window.) Tags: Interview Previous postAnna's [...]

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