PARK CITY, Utah. — Anna Moore finds inspiration in regional western landscapes.
“I still am shocked at just the vastness of the West, both in Utah and beyond, and just how wild places still are,” she said. “I think being out here my imagination is evoked by the colors and just the really harsh ridgelines and landscapes and rockscapes. Driving back from Jackson, in the star Valley, just incredible peaks – there’s no ski resort, there’s no development on them. They’re just raw, intimidating, beautiful mountains.”
Watercolor is Moore’s core medium, although she is also learning to work with oil paints. She is a maker for Brand PC and her work can be found at its pop-up shop at 544 Main Street.
“I think that to me, [watercolor] always kind of feels natural and feels almost like home. It just flows really easily,” she said. “I don’t have to fight it, and I do love how quick and transient it is. If you get it wrong, you kind of have to start over. People think it’s really challenging because of that, but I love that you just are committed and you sit down and do it. You can’t doubt yourself too much. And it’s really portable. You can bring it hiking and skiing and to other countries.”
Moore is a Pennsylvania native who first moved west to Colorado, but found those mountains too isolating. She moved to Park City about five years ago with a friend on a whim after hearing about the good snow, abundant ski resorts, and close proximity to Salt Lake City.
Full-time work as an artist didn’t come right away. At one point, Moore worked seven jobs at the same time. Those ranged from delivering rental equipment to teaching at Park City Mountain Resort and other ski-bum jobs.
“I think you make it work with seasonal jobs, and then slowly, you’re able to meet the right people and find the community,” she said. “And for me, it was finding the art center and meeting people like Jocelyn Scudder to work in education at the Kimball and got me teaching classes there.”
Moore is right where she wants to be with two jobs. Her top priorities are her work as an artist, finding the lifestyle she wants, and inspiration in the outdoors. Moore also is working at the Paint Mixer, a social venue centered around painting. She said the Paint Mixer role helps bridge the gap between would-be artists and the professionals who inspire them.
Moore has found community in Park City. Coming into town as a transient, it took effort for her to connect with other artists and residents here. But each year, more opportunities for artists seem to pop up, she said.
“I feel a lot more connected now with the arts council at Brand PC and Create PC. There’s a real initiative and effort to try and foster that community.”
Brand PC and Create PC are non-profits that celebrate local Park City creatives and allows them the opportunity to both make and sell art in the same place. Moore feels the more time artists spend in the town, the more support they gain. However, Park City is not without its difficulties.
“I think it’s challenging with how expensive Park City real estate is,” she said. “I think it makes it hard for young artists, especially, to put down roots,” Moore said.
Moore has goals to challenge herself to create a series of extensive oil paints. She wants to develop a body of work that captures the beautiful moments she has in the mountains.
Moore admitted she still struggles to call herself an artist.
“I think it’s like the eternal imposter syndrome, you know, when do you make it, when are you what you say you are?” she said. “And I think recently I’ve just been trying to really own it and not have it be an if/then, you know, if I get into a gallery, then I’m an artist. If I sell a painting for this much, then I’m a professional artist.”
Despite this inner battle, Moore is an artist gauging by affirmation from her peers and the local art community.
“I think everything in life, no matter what it is, you get out what you put in,” she said. “The more you focus on a goal or a practice or, you know, whatever it is…you just have to put the effort in. And eventually, you’ll kind of look back and say, wow, I’ve come a long way.”
Find Anna Moore’s most up-to-date work at annaleighmoore.com or on Instagram, @annaleighmoore.