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"I work exclusively in oil because of the richness of color. Impressionism basically has come to mean the “the effect of light on color.” That is why it is so important to me to do all or most of my painting outside in plein air. The light changes rapidly, so I begin putting down the large abstract areas of color, trying to work on the entire canvas. The palette must remain clean and pure, and I use a medium that helps the layers of color dry quickly as I move from big masses to smaller spots of color to define shapes, looking for the lightest and darkest. To me, there is no place that I would rather paint than Bucks County. The luminous Delaware River, colorful river towns and snowy vistas inspire. Even the most mundane subjects are strikingly beautiful when the mood is captured with brilliant color. Often, I will go back to a location at the same time of day to finish a painting, returning only when conditions of weather and light are the same. Sometimes I paint my subjects at different times of the year in the light key of our changing seasons."
Anita Shrager was born and raised in the Philadelphia area. On a full scholarship, she studied illustration and painting at the University of the Arts in 1963. Shrager later attended Pratt Institute for painting, and went on to become an illustrator and teacher. Her work has been exhibited at the Silverman Gallery in Holicong, PA, at Phillips' Mill Annual Juried Exhibitions, and the Coryell Gallery/Lambertville Historical Society.
Shrager is mainly influenced by the New Hope School of Impressionism and the colorist tradition of plein air painting. Working exclusively in oil, she paints the colors and the light of Pennsylvania and New Jersey river towns. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Award of Excellence in Oil Painting, from the Philadelphia Sketch Club in 2002; the Grumbacher Gold Medal for Excellence in Oil- a national award; and several awards from Phillips' Mill Annual Juried Exhibitions.
Anita Shrager. Image courtesy of the artist.
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Illustration and Painting, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA, 1967
Teachers and Influences
While studying at Philadelphia College of Art, now the University of the Arts: Albert Gold, Edna Andrade and Biagio Pinto
Will Barnett from PAFA was an important mentor. She has also studied and painted with contemporary artists T.M. Nicholas, Kevin McPherson, and Irby Brown.
Connection to Bucks County
Anita Shrager lives in Doylestown, PA, where she paints and exhibits most of her artwork.