Artist Statement


Where do my ideas come from?  My subject matter is taken from my personal experiences as well as the environment around me.  Recent travel, dog walks, grocery shopping, rest stops on the turnpike, disability, social issues and shared experiences are some examples.  5/11/18 was my personal 9/11.  A moment in time can draw a line between the before and the after.  I’m drawn to scenes that have a story. I keep a sketchbook at my side and a notebook with me always.  Thoughts are numerous and fleeting, vanishing with the next thought that comes to mind.  I attempt to capture them:  taking a note, making a sketch, getting a picture. 


Design elements, i.e. the composition, the interplay of light and shadow catch my eye and seem to illustrate the abstract words in my mind. Travel is part of my life.  Several times a year I go to a place I have never been.  Travel gives a fresh perspective to see ordinary events in a new light.  


Some works lend themselves to the additional layering of photographs.  Every work starts with a drawing. The marks on paper create the image, out of the blankness. To some paintings, I add another layer, taking photographs of the image or the environment itself.  The cut up photographs add an element of surprise and depth.  I never know how it is going to turn out.  It is like a puzzle.  The elements of design, composition, color, form, shape, and line have to work together to make a clear statement and go beyond just an abstraction – it has to tell a story and give meaning, yet be open enough so that every person can come in and fill in the meaning with their own experiences.  The challenge is in the balancing act, an intuitive understanding of the pieces and working them until it is just right, until they all fit.  That is why I am using visual elements rather than linear words.  Text, however, can be one more element in the work.  If you draw a circle with a gap where the ends don’t quite meet, the viewer will close the gap automatically.  How big can the gap be and the image still be understood to be a circle?  This is an analogy to the puzzle.  Success is when the “pieces” all fit together and there couldn’t be any other solution.


Regardless of the media, drawing, painting, or photo collage; my works are all flat two dimensional worlds contained within the space.  I’m using recognizable imagery to tell a story, to invite the viewer into my world, to share my world and collaborate in the meaning of the piece.


Balancing the Light and Dark: 
The Compelling Art of Anna Jewel Gove


        Anna Gove's art is about the world around us and the experiences that shape our lives. She is inspired by the light and shadows she sees, the plants and animals she observes, and her emotions and experiences. Through her art, she seeks to share her unique perspective with the world and to create a dialogue about the issues that matter to her.

Gove's recent work has focused on disability, Alzheimer's, and social movements. She has also been affected by natural disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy, and is concerned about the effects of climate change and pollution. By layering these issues into her work, she creates complex and compelling pieces that invite viewers to explore the hidden depths of her art.

Gove's art is about more than just the surface of things; it is about the complex relationships and connections that make up our world. It is about the things we cannot say in words. And it is about the passion and inspiration art can bring to our lives.

"I seek to share my experiences with the world and get them outside my head," Gove says. "I want to share my passion for art and to create a dialogue about the issues that matter."  Gove grew up in Southern California, where her father worked as a civil engineer. In addition to frequent days spent at the beach, Gove’s family would spend every weekend in Silverado Canyon. Gove’s father worked the two acres of unimproved land, hacking away with a pick and shovel like a sculptor.  He paid his children a penny bucket for rocks. He built a house, and then the family moved there permanently.  Gove was a quiet child, living in her own world inside her mind. Her introspection meant that the social aspects of school were challenging, but she loved learning.

Gove's journey to becoming an artist was a winding one. She had no support for her creative aspirations, so she worked as a cashier after high school and then completed secretarial school. 

After giving birth to her first son, Gove felt the need to further her education and enrolled at Santa Ana College, where she earned an Associate of Arts degree in history. She also took her first drawing class and began to see the world as an artist.  Gove went on to take courses at UCLA, where she furthered her art education by taking a printmaking course and learning the techniques of the craft. The instructor told her to look inside herself for inspiration. The experience was intimidating, and what she found was dark but intriguing, sparking a profound desire to continue creating.

After leaving UCLA, Gove returned to her parent’s home in Silverado Canyon and enrolled at the University of California, Irvine, where she studied under well-known art historian Phil Leider and contemporary artists Jerry Anderson, Tony Delap, Craig Kauffman, and printmaker John Paul Jones. 

Invigorated by her experiences in class, Gove decided to pursue art full-time, but when she told her father, he told her to quit and get a real job. Now dedicated to pursuing art, Gove instead chose to live out of her pickup truck for one year to continue producing art and receive her B.A. in studio art at UC Irvine.  Gove was accepted into a graduate program at Pratt Institute in New York but ultimately decided to stay at UC Irvine so she could better care for her young son.  While pursuing her MFA, her work was exhibited widely and showcased in the prestigious Variations III show (catalog produced).  After receiving her MFA at UC Irvine, she moved her studio to Los Angeles and continued working and showing in California.  

In 1995, Gove married and moved to New York. Wanting to learn more about traditional techniques of drawing and painting, she studied at the Art Students League of New York for six years, studying under Ephraim Rubenstein, Michael Burban, and Mary Beth McKenzie.

Gove added two sons through the marriage that brought her to New York, but while the marriage didn’t last, Gove stayed on the east coast, where she still resides today, continuing to create.  Gove's studio is in the Leonardo section of Middletown, New Jersey, on the Raritan Bay, where New York City meets the Jersey Shore, and rivers and forests meet the Atlantic Ocean.

Working in her studio every day, Gove typically writes down her thoughts and ideas for paintings as soon as she has them, without editing. If she sees something she wants to paint, she will do a quick sketch or take a picture with her phone. However, Gove notes that the images in her mind differ from the scene's reality. She has learned to present an image representationally but with some degree of abstraction.

After developing an initial idea, Gove's creative process moves to further refining ideas and impressions in a sketchbook. She may do some research if she is working on a specific concept. Once she has decided upon the idea, she will choose a scale and medium and prepare a canvas. She creates a pencil sketch on the surface, followed by an undercoat, a thin paint wash, and more paint. She notes that she often lets ideas ferment like a fine wine before beginning to work on them.

Drawing is the foundation of every piece for Gove. She draws from life or photographs, occasionally from memory if she wants to distort the image. She looks at the image and begins hacking away at it, line by line until the image starts to emerge. She is persistent in her process, often working on an image until it is just how she wants it.

For her photo collage works, Gove has a set of rules that she follows: she comes up with a concept or idea, does a rough sketch in her drawing book, takes photos of the scene or elements comprising it, prints the photos as 4” x 6” glossy prints, cuts the photos into one-inch squares and sorts the pieces by color. She then draws the image onto a prepared support, paints the image, and selects areas of the finished painting to apply the photos. Finally, she varnishes the finished work.

Gove's work is intellectually challenging as she seeks to turn thoughts into visual representations. For example, her painting "Mother of a Teenager" was born from the challenges she experienced raising her two youngest sons. Similarly, her Alzheimer's Memory series was inspired by her father's admittance to a locked memory care unit.

Gove's work often features patterns and repetition, which she says can be meditative. She enjoys the process of seeking out patterns and seeing what the final result will be.  The photo collage series is an alternative means of introducing unexpected patterns and reflecting upon the fleeting nature of time.

Gove has shown her work in many venues over the years, including the Monmouth Museum and the Brassworks Gallery. She has also been published in the Orange County Register and the LA Times. She is a member of the Art Students League of New York, the Art Alliance of Monmouth County, Monmouth Arts, Mensa, and the Sierra Club.

Gove's aspirations center around expressing her unique vision of the world through her artwork and sharing it with others. Gove's art is a way for her to interact with the world and to share her thoughts and emotions. Gove believes in embracing both the light and the dark sides of life, and her artwork reflects the complexity and beauty of the world. As time passes, she increasingly appreciates life's beauty and fleeting nature and uses her artwork to help others appreciate that beauty.




Resume for Anna Jewel Gove




Born Long Beach, California

Lives and works in Monmouth County, New Jersey



2000 Art Students League, New York, New York

1986 University of California, Irvine, Master of Fine Arts (MFA)\

1984 University of California, Irvine, B.A.

1982 Santa Ana College, Santa Ana, CA, A.A. History




2023     Monmouth Museum’s 43rd Annual Juried Art Exhibition, Middletown, New Jersey

2022     Belonging, Center for Visual Arts, Brookdale College, Lincroft, New Jersey

             Highlands Artists Neighborhood Art Show, HBAC, Highlands, New Jersey

2019     Out of the Blue, Pier Village, Long Branch, New Jersey

            Affordable Art Show and Sale, Atlantic Highlands Arts Council, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey

4th Annual Heroin & Opiod Art Exhibition, Newark, New Jersey

Atlantic Highlands Members Only Pop Up Art Show, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey

2018     Bravitas Art, Caldwell Street Fair, Caldwell, New Jersey

            Hot Summer, Atlantic Highlands Arts Council, Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey

2017     2nd Annual Heroin & Opiod Art Exhibition, Newark, New Jersey

            15th Annual Conference, New Jersey Association of Domestic Violence Professionals, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey

            Off the Wall, Off the Hook and Highlands Borough Arts Council, Highlands, New Jersey

2016     Losing your soul. . .and getting it back again:  Art by Anna Jewel Gove, Brassworks Gallery,, Montclair, New Jersey

2011     Morning, Noon or Night, Art Alliance of Monmouth County, Red Bank, New Jersey

2000     Icarus Ascending, Artifact Press, publication - created as Julie von Colijeff


Created under my former name of Julie Medwedeff

1995     Art Gallery of Teachers College of Nordiska Kurscentret, Helsinki, Finland

1994     Santa Fe Art Colony Open Studio Tour, Los Angeles, Calif.

1993     Downtown Lives!, Downtown Art Development Association, (DADA), Los Angeles, Calif.

            L.A. Biblioteca, SITE Gallery, Los Angeles, Calif.

            360 Degrees Art & Literary Review, published graphics/stories

            Spectral Delinquencies, Stuart Katz Loft Gallery, Laguna Beach, Calif.

1992     L.A. Artcore Juried Invitational Exhibition, Los Angeles, Calif.

            Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, San Francisco, Calif., published graphics and 2 short stories

1989     Orlando Gallery, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

1989     All City Art Open, Los Angeles Municipal Gallery

            Hillbies, Los Angeles, Calif.

1988     Mum's, OveReact Gallery, Long Beach, Calif.

            Expressions of the Human Form, Coos Bay Art Museum, Coos Bay, Oregon, (catalog)

            Variations III, Los Angeles Contemporary Art (LACE) (catalog)

            Piret's, Costa Mesa, Calif.

            Womens Resource Center, Irvine, Calif.

            Rico Gallery, Los Angeles, Calif.

            Orlando Gallery, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

            LA + 250, S.I.T.E., Culver City, Calif.

1987    The House in Contemporary Art, California State University at Stanislaus, Turlock, Calif. (catalog)

            Variations III, University of Calif., Irvine (catalog)

            Orlando Gallery, Sherman Oaks, Calif.

1988    Burbank Creative Arts Center, Burbank, Calif.

1986     LExpress, Dallas, Texas

            Pasadena Collects, Art Center, Pasadena, Calif.

            Afternoon Gallery, Newport Beach, Calif.

1985    A Serious Look at Humor, Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, Calif.

            Avrom Gallery, Dallas, Texas

1985     Fine Arts Gallery, Univ. of Calif., Irvine

            Second Annual Sculpture Exhibition, Long Beach Art Association, Long Beach, Calif.

            Art on the Edge, Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, Calif.

            Alternate Gallery, Dallas, Texas

1984    Long Beach Art Association, Long Beach, Calif.

            Los Angeles Harbor College, Southern California Womens Caucus for Art

            Orange County Center for Contemporary Art (OCCCA), Santa Ana, Calif.

            Arts/Irvine '84, Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA

            Fine Arts Gallery, Univ. of Calif., Irvine

1983     Costa Mesa Art League, Costa Mesa, Calif.

1982     Fine Arts Gallery, University of California, Los Angeles




Laura Newland, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Joanne Borek, Basking Ridge, New Jersey

Wendy Finn, Montclair, New Jersey

Jane Hanson, Montclair, New Jersey

Michael Mittleman, New York, New York

Richard Ryan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Bob and Rhonda Silver, Montclair, New Jersey

Michael and Gina Vitkansas, Middletown, New Jersey

Mona Louise Hyre, New York, New York

Pam Banks, California

Sharon Delano, Capistrano, California

Karen Feurenbrandt, Irvine, California

Lura Gard Newhouse, Long Beach, California

Dr. Edward and Debra Gordon, Woodland Hills, California

Walter Hardgraves, Dallas, Texas

Donna Ross Kanaga, Hollywood, California

Stuart Katz, Laguna Beach, California

Patty Lillegraven, Balboa Island, California

Gail Magic, California

Leah Vasquez, California

John White, California

Melinda Wortz, Pasadena, California

Gloria Zwerling, Beverly Hills, California




Icarus Ascending, Artifact Press, publication, 2000

360 degrees Art & Literary Review, "America and Japan: East and West", "The Repairman", Vol. 1, Summer 1993, illus; Vol2, Fall 1993, illus.

Centerpieces, "Dream Script", 46 very short stories, Center for Creative Work, San Francisco, Winter 194.

Haight Ashbury Literary Review, "Shadows Fall Only Where They Must", Vol. 6, No. 1, 1992, p. 11, p.3.


Exhibition reviews

Montclair exhibit reveals artist’s soul,, (June 9, 2016)

Moore, Michael, "Harrisville / Artists View", The Keene Sentinel, No. 233, 203rd year, (August 24, 2002), p. 1, illus.

Roth, Charlene, DADA: "Site-specific installations", Artweek, (Jan. 6, 1994), p. 14, illus.

Willette, J.S.M., "Perversities: Spectral Delinquency at Stuart Katz Loft", Artweek, (June 3, 1993), p. 22.

McKay, Yolanda, Spectral Delinquencies, (April 24, 1993), p. 9, illus.

U.C. Irvine Journal, (Winter 1988), p. 9, illus.

Vandaveer, Vonda Kay, "Variations III", The New University, (Oct. 21, 1987), p. 21, illus.

Marin, Pamela, "Leading Lights in a Brightening Art Environment", Los Angeles Times (O.C. Edition) Style (Oct. 4, 1987), p. 70, illus.

Cooper, Bernard, "Emerging from the South's Ferment", Artweek, (May 23, 1987), p.5.

Muchnic, Suzanne, "Variations III Charts a Gallery's Growth", Los Angeles Times, Calendar Section (May 4, 1987), p. 1.

"Creative Arts Center Exhibit", The Burbank Leader, (June 4, 1986), p.2., illus.

Frazier, Julia, "Young Artists Finding Space at Area Galleries", Los Angeles Times, Calendar Section (December 20, 1985), p. 1., illus.

Gottlieb, Shirle, "Sculpture Show Another Winner", Press-Telegram, (December 1, 1985), p. B4.

Dickstein, Dave A., "A Serious Look at Humor Shows Art at its Strangest," The Orange County Register, Weekend Accent Section (July 19, 1985), p. 1.




Art Students League of New York, Life member

Art Alliance of Monmouth County, New Jersey


Monmouth Arts member

Sierra Club

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