Monday, July 30, 2012

Why I Love This Community

Chris by Anne Watkins, 2012

One of the nicest parts of being a participant in an online community like Flickr is that you come across the nicest people and create more and more diverse friendships than you ever thought you might have.

Because I travel a lot in the course of my “day job,” I’ve had the opportunity and pleasure of meeting a number of Flickr friends. This past week I had the opportunity to meet New York-based watercolor artist Anne Watkins for the first time in person.

I first started admiring Anne’s work several years ago. Her simple and lithe brushstrokes reminded me of the illustrations used for print ads for New York’s stylish Paul Stuart clothing store. That probably shouldn’t have been a surprise because it turns out Anne is the creator of those illustrations. Go figure. 

Anne's watercolors of New York and New Yorkers, especially her society ladies, are a joy to see. You can see samples of Anne’s work here.

Anne Watkins, 2012

I’ve been hoping to meet Anne for some time. A few years ago she had a show of watercolor portraits of dogs at a gallery in the East Village that opened the same weekend I was in New York. But other commitments intervened and I was unable to meet Anne on that trip.

So it was a special treat one afternoon last week when I was able to wander over to Bryant Park, where Anne was conducting an outdoor workshop. Just as it has been with many Flickr friend meet-ups, Anne and I didn’t greet as strangers, but instead embraced as old friends. Anne insisted that I sit for a quick portrait. 

I hope this will be the first of many good conversations with Anne.

I Asked Anne to Show Me “Hostile,” 2012


  1. You do get around! Love the touch of the camera strap in the portrait.

  2. OMG! Chris - you SO made my day (and the other day- and that other day, too). I have been slamming on a project and remiss about feeding our cherished Flickr community - that deep and delicious well I draw sweet refreshment from daily. So I have not scanned my pic of you, or notes about our meeting. So true, old/young friend, that we embrace in the sprit of what I call tribe recognition. I had to assure Suma that we had not met before. In a manner of speaking. I was especially touched that you were prompted to talk about your friend on the other side of this veil. So she could be at the table, too. Today - every day, where we connect, life is sweet. Art is not called creative for nothing.

    Do you think this is the best I can do at Hostile? Let me practice a little....
    Thank you!!

  3. Hahaaaa--I'm laughing at Anne "hostile." That's funny. Her painting is incredible--I love her work. And one of these days, I hope to meet her as well--I've followed her work forever, and have been a fan for years. She's such a generous spirit. I'm jealous of both of you!

  4. It's OK not to be able to do hostile . . . Anne is clearly a lovely, positive person.

    This is a fun anecdote and love the portrait. I'm so happy to see all of these "people pictures" from you!

  5. I am a student of Anne's in a Saturday afternoon NYC class which was supposed to run for a month and is now well into its second year. You picked the wrong girl to demonstrate hostile! Her portrait of you is astounding! Unlike anything else. She's the best. Janet R