Ann Cowden


Having painted since old enough to hold a pencil, I have settled on oils as my medium of choice. Oils provide rich brushstrokes, wonderful color and permanence, a factor in portraits, wanting them to last many lifetimes. I strive to capture the personality and essence of the subject as well as their likeness, and I have never had a dissatisfied client! My clients dictate the setting and clothing with my recommendations after meeting with them and learning who they are and what their style is. I was honored to be selected to paint President Woodrow Wilson for the University of Virginia School of Law where it hangs today. I have painted many posthumous portraits, male and female, and several CEOs to hang in their boardrooms. Beautiful children with rosy skin tones and soft round faces are incredibly fun, and I love the character of older adults with the wisdom their faces portray.
I have a vast library of art books and travel to museums as frequently as possible to study paintings of the old masters…Zorn, Sargent, Cassatt, Cecelia Beaux and William Meritt Chase are but a few of my heroes. Studying their work provides vast education on the colors and the techniques they used……invaluable to what I do every day. I learn something new every day and I am open to all of the information I can find about portraits and those who painted them. I believe that painting landscapes, still lifes and seascapes can make one a better portrait painter and so I continue to hone my skills in those areas also. I continue to study with artists whose work I admire all over the country always wishing to improve and grow. Every day is an adventure and I never want to become complacent and think I know all I need to know!

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