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Many years ago, I was asked to restore a rock mural in Penitente Canyon, CO. When I said yes, I was completely unprepared for the profound impact that a mural in a hidden canyon in the southern part of Colorado would have on me.  As I stepped off the side of the cliff with my paints in makeshift cans on my harness, I wondered how I ended up in this place suspended between the earth and sky, painting a mural on a rock formation that was thousands of years old. It became clear to me that this paint on the rock meant more than I could understand.  Where I saw a hastily constructed Madonna, others saw a Divine miraculous image whose origins were as mysterious as they were precarious.

The mural held a story of devotion for the people who lived there, whether or not the story behind the painting was true, I will never know. But I do know that the story has become a part of my history. The people of Penitente Canyon taught me that sometimes the act of painting itself can be just as beautiful as the result. Many of the Native American stories that I was told in those early days have found their way back into my work over the years and they often inspire me when I need it most, like over the last year during the pandemic.

Anna has artwork in the permanent collection of Rio Grande County Museum in Del Norte, Colorado. Prints of her work are for sale here or  contact the artist for original works or commissions. Payments are accepted by cash, check or paypal.

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