Artist of the Week: Kim McAninch, Set Sail on a Visual Voyage

The patches of color are like the sail of a sailboat: they propel a voyage of the eye. The viewer navigates from shade to shade, negotiating the composition’s shifting oceans and beachy shores.

Kim McAninch’s paintings are a glide into a glinting seashore’s tranquility.


Her style is efficient. She captures solid form and shaded depth through juxtaposing colors. Rectangles of green become palms. Lines of blue and green become tufts of grass. Overlaid dabs of violet, pink, orange, and yellow become the sun’s reflection on the water.

She offers this as her mantra of inspiration: “Loose but accurate and then looser but more accurate. That’s the goal.  In other words, I want to offer more information, with less detail.”

The brilliant coalescence of her color swatches, both naturalistic and not, harmonize into images of peacefulness.


Dunes XL

Through her interior and pattern design, she was exposed to nearly every style. This gave her stylistic range and agility.

Before she was a full-time artist, McAninch studied and worked as an interior designer and wallpaper artist.

The transition was seamless because, as she puts it, “the very same elements are at play.”

“Only now, I am free to use my own innovation with no justification, to explore that balance between representation and design.”

“When I break at the end of a day and to take a fresh, objective look in the morning,” she says.



As an artist, one of her biggest challenges is staying true to her own artistic voice.

“There are many talented, innovative artists and while I get a pang of jealousy when I see something I would like to tackle that was executed perfectly, I will be most successful if I let my own odyssey take place” she says.

McAninch recently began renting an apartment for her creative space. For the first time in her life, she has a studio space all to herself. The apartment is one floor above the apartment in which she and her husband live.

Her creative life becomes its own realm separated by a flight of stairs.

“Although I was too young to fully appreciate the gifts of my professors at the time, I certainly recognize them now and repeat the same truths now that I have students of my own” she says.

One of the most important lessons she has learned through her artistic career is the value of education. She studied at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she earned a B.F.A. with a concentration in Surface patterns and design. Her studies can be applied to designs for flooring, wallpaper, fabric, dishes, tablecloths, vinyl shower curtains, and wrapping paper.   

See more of Kim McAninch’s work on UGallery