The bite of the Verde. That’s what I like to call it. You come here once, and you have to return. And that’s exactly what happened for The Muse Gallery artist Candice Anderson.
Mrs. Anderson’s life started in California. She grew up in SoCal, and it is there that she first started drawing with pencils.
In college, her studies were mostly in Psychology, but she took a bit of art. Outside of school, and always in life, she partook in art. Art is her meditation, her way to get lost, and find something beautiful.
California swept Mrs. Anderson up in the Hollywood scene. She worked in the movie business for about 15 years, but not as you might think, especially if you saw the pictures of this bombshell brunette. Mrs. Anderson owned a trucking company.
Her company would move movie sets from house to desert to city and back again. Somebody had to move all of those props and generators. It was her equipment of prop truck, movie truck and 5-ton truck that did all that heavy hauling.
When the call of the wild became greater than the glitz and glamour, Mrs. Anderson became a full-fledged rancher. Bought and flipped her own ranches, well, first homes, then ranches. As a horse trainer and dog trainer, and woman of all trades, she put her skills into action; purchasing, flipping and selling: first a ranch in Klamath Falls and then three in Oregon.
During all of this, she continued to do her art. “It was fabulous - after being beaten up in Hollywood for 20 years… it was nice to go out on my ATV and just sit and watch everything - I would draw the herd of cows - their expressions.”
Some of her favorite subject matter include expression and mood: in animals and people, from family to strangers. Mrs. Anderson is mostly self-taught by studying the Masters, focusing on lights and darks; especially shadows.
Mrs. Anderson first came to the Verde Valley in 1975 and 76 when she was on the crew for the filming of Joe Forrester. You might remember the series from the late 70s, early 80s. Joe Forrester was an American Crime/Drama TV series, starring Lloyd Bridges. “A veteran patrolman uses trusted sources to help him solve crimes…” according to Google.
Mrs. Anderson looks back and wishes she had bought here at that time. It was then she first fell in love with the Cottonwood area, and the Verde Valley. It was only two years ago that Mrs. Anderson and her husband of 13 years, Doug Anderson, finally had the chance to move here, to her Eden's Garden.
Over time, Mrs. Anderson exhibited her work in the Desert Art Center, Palm Springs, CA, and the Contemporary Art Gallery in OK. Having worked with oil, acrylic, and pastels, she's now back to her first and favorite medium: Pencil.
She found The Muse Gallery here in Old Town Cottonwood, about half a year ago, and has had a selection of her pencil drawings on display. Hanging center wall is a face you might recognize, her son, C Thomas Howell, best known as Pony Boy from The Outsiders of 1983.
Alongside her pencil drawings are an outcropping of painted stones, her newest passion. She has found renewed inspiration by our landscape, especially in her own backyard, which backs up to BML land. Reflecting this, slowly her sweet painted stones are morphing into small painted cactus gardens, which will be on display alongside her pencil drawings during the March 14th Second Saturday Art & Cultural Walk in Old Town Cottonwood, 4-7PM.
The Muse Gallery is located at 735 N Main St in Old Town Cottonwood. Visit the-muse-gallery.com/events or call (928) 593-0827 for details.