I am Rebecca Cary-Anderson, also known as The Painted Pear on Instagram and my website. I am an American, from Boston Massachusetts, USA living in Stockholm, Sweden. I am a wife, a mother of 3 children and a flat coat retriever named Dexter. I have a BFA in fine art, majoring in Illustration, with a minor in children’s book illustration. You might say I have a triple minor, another in procrastination and a third in insecurity.
After graduating college, I got a job, fell in love, had children and became the “kid’s mother”. I worked in various creative jobs, eventually doing graphic design and typography work for a printer before I became a freelancer. I have always kept painting and creativity close whether for myself, or the kids crafts or PTA Winter Bazaars, but never labeled myself as an artist, like when you get that question at a holiday party…”so what do you do”?
Then we moved to Sweden. It was supposed to be for one year….the first year was like an extended vacation, surreal, and so very busy. I started keeping a journal, a diary. Mostly words, but it started to blossom into more pictures and urban sketching and memories on paper. I didn’t come over here with many art supplies, so I started rebuilding a small art supply collection.
Since moving to Sweden I have felt this sense of anonymity. Due to that, I became less fearful and self conscious of exhibiting my work to the public, and in turn, I have done more art. The combination of my age and moving abroad has sparked a “life is too short and who cares what others think” kind of attitude. Life is too short to subdue the creativity inside. I really want my kids to take that away with them as well. I want everyone to take that away with them. Do not let insecurity (3rd minor) stand in the way, which is easier said than done, I know!!
My work is clearly influenced by my children’s book illustration studies and illustrating a children’s book is still an interest. The art of my professor Dennis Nolan as well as illustrators Chris Van Allsburg, William Joyce and Bill Nies hold special interest, but artists Tommy Kane and France Belleville-Van Stone have greatly influenced my current work.
Giraffes riding bikes is directly derived from Sweden. Between the athletic builds and fashionable clothing, whether in high heels or triathlon gear it is all so beautiful. Giraffes have been my favored animal for a long time so it is only natural for me to express myself through this awkward and graceful animal. Yes, I am awkward and maybe sometimes graceful. And I love bike riding too.
So that being said, I do like to paint what I do, I suppose there is always a closeness directly of me in what my art is. Whether I depict something that I do or my subject is something close to me. My biggest inspiration comes from my everyday, me, my family, my other hobbies and my daily activities and surroundings and sarcasm is never, ever too far away.
I also like focusing on painting a subject everyday for a month, whether dogs or cars or portraits. It helps me stay structured, committed and takes the edge off the question of what to put on the BIG SCARY WHITE paper. It takes that pressure away of what to paint away and so I can focus on the painting. The repitiveness of a subject only adds to that 10,000 hours of mastering something.
My mediums have gone from one to another over the years. But right now I am really fond of watercolor and pen and ink. More specifically, Winsor & Newton, Dr. Ph Martin’s, Micron Pens and a treasured Lamy Safari pen with Noodler’s Ink. It is clean and simple and can travel. After quite a few years being dormant I am finding my strengths and personal awarenesses. Urban sketching and landscape work has never come easily but I am trying to explore more with that while living abroad. Illustrated journals are so special, and carry a deeper meaning than photos for me. Capturing my Swedish experience through my art has been a profound turning point.
So this is me, once again trying to find my way along in art. With new confidence settings and children grown to double digits I am finding new energy to express myself. The support of my family and friends and online community to encourage and inspire my creativeness are the greatest treasures and biggest gifts!
The Painted Pear
Creator of Doodlewash®, founder of World Watercolor Month (July), World Watercolor Group™, and host of the Sketching Stuff Podcast. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!