Featured Artist Anita McComas

Bold and vibrant, artist Anita McComas’ paintings of animals are a dance of color and light. Visit the artist’s website to view more of her work.

 

"Chasing a Rainbow" Acrylic on Canvas, 48" x 48" by artist Anita McComas. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Chasing a Rainbow” Acrylic on Canvas, 48″ x 48″

 

As an artist, I tackle each and every painting as if I am opening a wrapped package. I am completely thrilled by the process of creating a new piece and cannot wait to see what unfolds.

 

"Playing in My Back Yard" Acrylic on Canvas, 48" x 36" by artist Anita McComas. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Playing in My Back Yard” Acrylic on Canvas, 48″ x 36″

 

When I look back on my history as an artist, I realize that today I am almost back to where I started as a young girl growing up on a Maryland farm, painting animals. This is not something I came back to easily. I was an oil painter for twenty years and would not even consider painting something that did not have a person in it. I found landscapes pretty, but not very interesting.

 

"In the Forest Deep" Acrylic on Canvas, 40" x 40" by artist Anita McComas. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“In the Forest Deep” Acrylic on Canvas, 40″ x 40″

 

In 2008, I moved west to Kelowna, British Columbia, and became enthralled with landscapes, color and the impressionistic style prevalent in western Canada.

 

"Oh Baby, I Think I Love You" Acrylic on Canvas, 24" x 24" by artist Anita McComas. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Oh Baby, I Think I Love You” Acrylic on Canvas, 24″ x 24″

 

Allergies forced me to move away from oil paints and into acrylics, and this shift of medium also created a shift from traditional “Rembrandt style” colors to new brighter colors. I found acrylics did not mix well without getting really dulled down, so I mixed less, and started using more pure color.

 

"Frozen Water" Acrylic on Canvas, 36" x 36" by artist Anita McComas. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Frozen Water” Acrylic on Canvas, 36″ x 36″

 

I also began painting a lot of landscapes, challenging myself to explore new ways to tell the visual story of the world around me, and to see color in new and different ways. In doing so, I frequently painted animals, particularly bears.

 

"Water Play" Acrylic on Canvas, 24" x 24" by artist Anita McComas. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Water Play” Acrylic on Canvas, 24″ x 24″

 

Eventually, I started on a series of bears that were quite abstracted, wherein I tried to paint extreme color contrast and less realism. This completely hooked me, and today I find that while I still focus on landscapes, I paint as many or more wildlife pieces.

 

"Just Gazing at You" Acrylic on Canvas, 48" x 48" by artist Anita McComas. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Just Gazing at You” Acrylic on Canvas, 48″ x 48″

 

My style focuses on high contrast, with my darks and lights really competing in the foreground. This is what I really like, strong darks and bright whites. I have found a way over the years to make this work, but it is always a struggle trying to balance out the color. In a way, I realize that while I paint, I am fighting against myself, trying to add just enough of the mid-tones to really balance out my work and allow the eye to focus on the center of interest.

 

"When You are in that Laid Back Mood" Acrylic on Canvas, 40" x 40" by artist Anita McComas. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“When You are in that Laid Back Mood” Acrylic on Canvas, 40″ x 40″

 

I once was told by another artist that I needed to dip my paintings in black. He found that the contrasts were just too much, and the colors were entirely too bold. This was really a shocking comment coming from someone whose work is highly respected and one that affected me a great deal. For a period of time, I tried hard to bring down the brightness and contrast in order to be accepted by my peers.

 

"Wink, Wink" Acrylic on Canvas, 24" x 48" by artist Anita McComas. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Wink, Wink” Acrylic on Canvas, 24″ x 48″

 

Ultimately this unasked for critique was the greatest “gift” given to me as an artist. The more I thought about it, the more it bothered me, and so, through my work, I began to push back. I decided that I needed to celebrate what came naturally and be a more authentic artist. I stopped fighting myself and just let go.

 

"The Splash" Acrylic on Canvas, 40" x 40" by artist Anita McComas. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“The Splash” Acrylic on Canvas, 40″ x 40″

 

I am aware that the years of working on mid-tones did help me as an artist to create a balance in my style that is now naturally a part of my painting. I no longer spend time conscientiously painting what I “should” but instead I paint what I “feel.” Some pieces are stronger than others, but ultimately, they are all authentically me.

 

Artist Anita McComas invites you to follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

 

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