Ann Heard ‘Abstracts the Normal’


Long-time Anderson Artists Guild member Ann Heard was born and raised in Anderson. After high school, on a double date, she heard about training at the hospital and ended up with a 34-year career in the microbiology section of the laboratory. Her job involved looking at petri dishes and identifying micro-organisms. “We added discs to an agar growth medium,” she said. “Each disc was treated separately with an antiobiotic.” The resulting interaction helped doctors to know which antiobiotics to use to treat their patients.

While working during the day, Heard attended night school, earning an associate’s degree from Anderson College. On the job, she worked her way up to supervisor and then assistant director, dealing with personnel files and safety regulations. “It was a good life,” she said.


Heard always wanted to paint and draw and took a few night classes at the Anderson Arts Center while she was still working. She started with watercolor but switched to acrylics after carpooling with friends (including Ruth Hopkins and Rosemary Moore) to take classes with Carrie Brown at the Greenville Museum of Art.


Living on the lake, Heard was initially drawn to landscapes, capturing banks and sunsets with her camera as a starting point. But she moved on to floral still lifes and to a more abstract method of painting. “I have this thing about abstracting the normal,” she said. “I give it a different line and color. It’s still recognizable, just a slight abstraction. I don’t go way out.”


Some years ago she painted with a group called Studio South and now exhibits with another group called Viva. She also sells her work through Bay 3. And she’s a signature member of the Georgia Watercolor Society and the South Carolina Watermedia Society.

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