Anne Toms

Daughter of a coastguard, my childhood was spent living in coastguard cottages all round the British Isles from the Hebrides in North Scotland to the South Coast of England, always within sight and sound of the sea, an influence that has stayed with me throughout my life working in the field of visual arts, as a practising painter, arts educator, sometimes arts administrator and art director.  Painting has been my central occupation since the 1960s

 

Public art commissions include large scale works and decorative panels  in hospitals in the South of England, Winchester, Southampton and Isle of Wight completed over a period of some 15years.

The National Trust has commissioned me to create quite a body of work over a period of years, including educational panels and murals,  illustrating the life and habitats of birds.  A real treat for me as an opportunity to research and learn more about the birds I love so much.

I am currently working on domestic scale paintings inspired by the beaches and landscapes of the most westerly corner of the Isle of Wight, within walking distance of my studio close to Freshwater Bay.  These days I show my work primarily at Yarmouth Gallery, just four miles away in the tiny harbour town of Yarmouth.  I also participate in IW Artists' annual Open Studios event.
 

Previously I served several years as Artistic Director at Quay Arts, Newport, IW and managed a major refurbishment of the Centre during the 1990s, leading the acquisition, restoration and refurbishment of Jubilee Stores Workshops and The Rope Store, and creation of the Anthony Minghella studio theatre:  raising funds and working with architect Tony Fretton on the project. 

Teaching has also been an important part of my artistic life and I have been fortunate to work with a variety of community groups and individuals from the leisure painter to inmates of HMP Albany.  Teaching is always a learning experience that gives back as much as it takes.