Q+A with Artist Angela Ness

See her work at the St. Cloud Art Crawl on March 22
An indigo-tinted painting of evergreens.

Angela Ness

The St. Cloud Art Crawl is presenting its first of three 2019 events on March 22 from 5 to 9 p.m. More than 30 locations such as shops, cafes, and banks are hosting dozens of Minnesota artists working in photography, essential oil jewelry, wearable art, paper collage, poetry, stained glass, and more. We caught up with participating artist Angela Ness before the show to learn about where she went in Minnesota to find her inspiration. Meet her and dozens of other creators at the art crawl, and for some dining recommendations while you’re there, check out Jason DeRusha and Joy Summers’ roundup.

Angela NessWhen did you get into art?

“I think I’ve always been interested in art even as a kid. I grew up north of Bemidji in a town called Puposky. It was literally all country and woods. We didn’t have really close neighbors, so you had to entertain yourself.”

If you started out sketching, then when did you get into painting?

“Sketching and drawing is more of what I have done up until the last couple of years. My husband passed away about four years ago now, and I was going through kind of a hard time with depression. My kids and friends pushed me to find something that you can do to relieve stress. I bought a camera and I went and started walking through the natural trails and taking pictures, but then I needed something to do with these pictures.

“I was sketching out the pictures I was taking, and then one of my kids bought me paint and canvases as a gift, so I was like, all right, I’ll paint. At first, I couldn’t get the same detail I was getting when I draw, which was really frustrating, but a friend of mine who is also a painter said, ‘Don’t think about it so much. Go with the feeling of it.’ The more that I did that, the more I opened up and was able to be more free with it.”

For your nature pieces, where do you find your inspiration?

“I live in Cold Spring, and you know, there’s so many lakes, and there’s a lot of wooded trails and nature trails. We have the Eagle Park in Rockville, which is where I go mostly because there’s the Saulk River, there’s the eagle’s nest, and then on the other side, there’s a ton of walking trails. It’s very peaceful, very quiet, and you’re kind of by yourself. You can just be calm and collect yourself at the same time.”

Why have you stuck with nature all of these years? Obviously, you’ve done some different pieces as well, but nature still seems like a love of yours.

“When I paint nature scenes, it’s like I kind of connect to it. I kind of miss where I grew up, so it’s a connection to that, but also, in nature there’s no way to paint it wrong. If you’re painting a building, it’s really mathematical—maybe that’s not the right word. You can’t be as free with it. In a nature scene, you have more flexibility with it so you can make it however it feels.”

See Ness’s work at the Spice of Life Tea Shop.

This interview was edited for style, length, and clarity.