date published: June 18, 2007

5 questions with...

Anne Packard, Red Dory II, 2006
Anne Packard
by Josh B. Wardrop

Artist Anne Packard made a name for herself in the 1960s with stunning and evocative paintings of the dunes, shores and skyline of her Provincetown home. Today, she and her daughters Cynthia and Leslie run the Packard Gallery on P-Town’s main drag, at 418 Commercial St. Packard talks to Panorama about her artistic career.

Q: You began your career relatively late—at age 30, as a newly-single mother of five. What was it like trying to break through at that time?
I hung my paintings on a fence and sold them for $15, $20. After a while, I met [Provincetown artist Robert] Motherwell, and he helped me along and gave me some credibility.

Q: Did you receive formal art training, or are you self-taught?
My parents wouldn’t send me to art school. My father always said I would’ve been ruined if I’d gone, and I suppose I might have gotten hung up on being “innovative” and “artsy-fartsy.”

Q: Your grandfather, Max Bohm, was a renowned 20th century Impressionist. Was his artistic influence always present growing up?
My parents never encouraged me when it came to art. But [Bohm’s] paintings have been a tremendous influence on both the subject matter and mood of my works.

Q: Do you find that your enthusiasm for creating art is the same as it’s always been?
I still love to paint. I don’t get up in the morning to have coffee or read the paper. The painting itself is my oldest friend—that’s what I get up each day to do.

Q: Do you ever find yourself dabbling with new techniques, or are you set in your ways as an artist?
Cynthia always wants me to be on the cutting edge, and I do play and experiment. But I’m in a beautiful time right now and very content with my career.