Adirondacks & My Art | Interview with Artist Anne Diggory  

By: Mary Godnick - Adirondack Council Marketing and Communications Associate
Monday, April 29, 2019

Anne Diggory has been creating art inspired by the Adirondacks for over 40 years. Her art has changed over time, and now recently, she has started to incorporate more human elements into her mixed media work. Anne's artwork is now featured at the Albany Institute of History and Art in an exhibition titled "All in a Day's Work," through August 18. She is also leading an art history boat cruise on Lake George on June 24, stopping at specific sites that have been painted by historic Hudson River School artists, as well as Anne herself. We chatted with Anne about her artwork, her connection to the Adirondacks, and how these Forever Wild lands have inspired her artwork over the years. 

The Adirondacks as a Studio

The Adirondacks provide an amazing variety of motifs seen under constantly changing weather patterns (which has its own challenges). After painting in the area on and off over 40 years, the familiarity of the forms makes it easy to feel at home and make a personal statement with the work. I am partial to the fascinating structures of the cliff forms that can set up wonderful rhythmical structures with light or snow and reveal the forces of nature.  

From an artist’s perspective, it would be great if there were more safe pullovers in scenic areas.  

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/featured-images/anne_diggory.jpgRock Flow (Lower Saranac Lake), acrylic on canvas 18x24"

Mixed Media to Convey the Adirondack Experience 

I created my first work that included elements of photography in 2006. I was in the studio contemplating a half-completed plein air painting in which only the middle ground and distance had been described. Before returning to the site to finish painting the stream that would be in the foreground, I tried out several versions of stream by using Photoshop. I layered a photograph of the stream over a digital image of the paintingI was amazed at the resonance created by the contrasting expressions of detail and the simultaneous expansion and contraction of the space.  I manipulated the combined images on the computer, and had the result printed on paper, and then painted on it some more.  

I have continued to create hybrids, as shown below, when the combination of visual material and increased artifice can be used to emphasize the complex act of looking and the energy of shifting vision. While I produce more traditional paintings and drawings each year, certain experiences or ideas seem to require the hybrid approach. 

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/blogannediggory419/Barnum_BrookII.jpgOpening: Barnum Brook II, hybrid media, 16x16"  2006

Finding Subject & Peace 

The locations that I have painted the most are those that are readily accessible with a load of art supplies, either on a day trip from Saratoga Springs or near Saranac Lake. Some include the cliffs in the Chapel Pond area, some falls near the Tongue Mountain trailhead, the Paul Smiths VIC, the Saranac Islands, and mountain views of both Lake George and Lower Saranac Lake.  

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/blogannediggory419/Out_ofPlace_in_Hulett_Landing.jpgOut of Place in Huletts Landing (Lake George), hybrid on canvas 21x3

What inspires me is not the location on its own, but the way that the light is intriguing, or the way that the passing clouds dance with the other elements in view on that particular day.  

Inspired by Changing Landscapes 

As I research historic painting locations from the 19th Century, it is not surprising that I often discover how much the landscape has changed in terms of the visibility of certain views. Many areas have been re-forested, blocking iconic views where there used to be open slopes and fields. Yet at the same time, roads and trails (and the guidebooks explaining them) provide vistas that couldn’t be seen over a hundred years ago.  

Uploaded Image: /vs-uploads/blogannediggory419/Float.jpg"Float" (from Recluse Island, Lake George) hybrid on canvas  30x46"

A Wild Adirondack Experience for Everyone 

Preserving the Adirondacks is a complex balancing act of protecting the wilderness areas as well as maintaining recreational access and strengthening the communities and economy within the Park.  

Protecting the Forest Preserve from overuse with a variety of levels of regulation is essential for the future of wildlife, the forest itself, and the ability of future generations to become immersed in nature.   

Many of my artworks are based on times that I am relatively alone in the wilderness – these days often while paddling and painting. That experience of solitude should continue to be available in the Wilderness.

You can learn more about Anne's work on her website and on Facebook

Mary Godnick Adirondack Council

Mary joined the Council in August 2016. As the Marketing and Fund Development Assistant, Mary works with the team to coordinate marketing and fundraising efforts. She develops, manages and implements strategic social media and marketing campaigns to grow the visibility of the Council's efforts. She also works with the Fund Development team in production of materials, mailings and reports to help expand our support to preserve the Park for future generations.

Mary grew up in Harford, NY. She graduated from SUNY Oswego with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Public Relations in May of 2014. Previously, she worked in digital marketing, search engine optimization and social media management. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, gardening, yoga, and enjoying all that the Adirondack Park has to offer.

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