We are so excited to feature artist Annalisa Fitzgerald! Annalisa is a mixed media artist, whose unique and enchanting work is often inspired by folklore and fairytales. A cycling enthusiast, we’ve had the pleasure of having her at BICAS Art events in the past. With captivating textures and a whimsical style, we could not be more thrilled to return to an artist feature with Annalisa.

Where are you from?

“Safford, AZ.”

What got you started making art?

“I studied graphic design and illustration in college. It drew my curiosity towards book illustration and the whimsy atmosphere it could bring to an illustration.”

What’s your artistic background? (experience, education, etc.)

“I was always drawing as a kid, getting white paper, anything I could find. In High school, I decided to try watercolor, even though I knew it was a very precise medium. Then in college found that colored pencils could be quite fun in terms of playing with color and blending. The amount of detail blew me away. Also discovering you could add colored pencil touch ups to a watercolor painting.

“Then, once I graduated, I worked at an art center in Lake Orion, Michigan. The arts were alive there, and so was my heart. I had so much influence from other artists like myself. One in which I was able to work closely with was Kim Santini. She is an acrylic artist, painting animals, florals and is known for her favorite subject, horses. She was also known for the 2015 Kentucky Derby Painting.

“It was there I continued to use watercolors, acrylics, colored pencils, ink and taught classes on the basics.

“Another one of the artists there that really influenced me was Laura Locke. She was a collage artist who used fabrics instead of paper. I was taken by all her textures and perspective she could encapsulate into her pieces. It wasn’t until I moved back to Tucson that I began experimenting with collage. I didn’t have much at the time, working freelance for small graphic design jobs but still illustrating on my own time. This had been a dark time, going through much anxiety and the feeling of being alone frightened me. Fortunately, I wasn’t completely alone. I had been living with my brother and his roommate at the time on 22nd and 2nd avenue. We’d get the El Super’s in the mail all the time. It was with these that I began experimenting with collage and painting on paper. I even began ripping up books that no one had been reading anymore. I loved the way I could add just a cinch of water and it could change the color of the paper completely. Sometimes making it look more antique depending on what color was used. It was defiantly something ‘unique’ that no one had seen before and I felt that I had found my niche. It gave me the confidence to show my works at markets and began working on a building my brand.

“Now, I have my own collection of scrapbook paper, saving letters, and have accepted many paper donations from friends and foes. I’ve even started to used Tim Holtz Hardware to build into my pieces. The main thing that has inspired me is when my works really make someone smile and makes a difference in their lives.”

Who or what are your biggest artists’ influences?

“Laura Locke, Kim Santini, Dianna Bonder, John Wassum, Pamela Zagarenski, Maria-Pace Wynters.”

Where do you get your inspiration for your art?

“Many of the fun things I paint are inspired from storybooks, forest creatures/settings.”

What brought you to BICAS?

“I was at the St Philips plaza showing my art, and was discovered by one of the art directors.”

How has BICAS affected you?

“Being a cyclist myself, its fun to incorporate vintage bikes into my works even if its whimsy and theres a fox riding a bicycle. I believe they have helped me get exposure as well as an artist, their market is usually very well marketed throughout Tucson.”

Why did you work with BICAS at Art Mart?

“I do some cycling art so its fun to showcase those pieces at these particular events.”

Check out her instagram, facebook, and website for more of her work!