//Fine Arts: Anna Hsu

Fine Arts: Anna Hsu

A simple message of peace and harmony in watercolors.

By Nate Paige
Artist Anna Hsu

Photos by Angelo Merendino

Last year marked Anna Hsu’s 50th year in the United States. She’s been creating oil and watercolor paintings for 25 of those years, and she has no intention of slowing down.

Originally from Taiwan, Anna Hsu arrived in Cleveland – by way of Colorado and Chicago – in 1978 when her husband accepted a transportation engineering job at the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency. In their search for a place to live, the couple drove around Shaker Heights.

“We really liked the look and environment of Shaker, and we were very impressed by the street design,” Hsu says.

Hsu would eventually land a job with Kaiser Permanente as a clinical technologist, and later work for Cleveland Clinic as a lead medical technologist, which was the start of a 30-year career.

Hsu’s creative side began to blossom in 1995, after signing up for Chinese brush painting lessons at the Cleveland Chinese Academy, where her two sons studied Chinese language and culture. She would work on her art assignments during the evening after putting her sons to bed.

“Surprisingly, my skill in painting bamboos took off before long and I was really fascinated by all the variations in the gestures of bamboo leaves, trunks, and twigs. I never tired of working on these pieces,” she says.

Close up of artist Anna Hsu working on a watercolor

Over the years, Hsu’s work has been included in exhibits at local libraries and galleries. She’s had numerous entries in the Shaker Heights Public Library’s annual Barbara Luton Art Competition, receiving Honorable Mention and Best of Show awards.

In 2008, a creative community of Taiwanese artists living in Northeast Ohio formed a non-profit called Evergreen Artists. The group holds general meetings, demonstration workshops, social gatherings, and seasonal art shows. It was during one of the workshops that Hsu became fascinated with watercolor painting.

After retiring from Cleveland Clinic, Hsu began to delve into watercolor art, and although her training was mostly through selfstudy, she did take a few instructional courses. The biggest revelation of creating watercolors was learning “how to let water be a part of my creativity. In watercolor paintings, I learn to capture the beauty of nature through its variations of light and shadow, its contrast of colors. The wonderful thing about art is that it opens up one’s mind to be able to observe surroundings in greater detail and appreciate nature more.

Nothing happens by accident; everything has its order. Conveying the simple message of peace and harmony is what inspires my art,” she says.

Last year, Hsu was one of 16 artists selected to have their work displayed in a Cleveland Hopkins Airport exhibit entitled “Extraordinary Skills.” This is the third airport exhibition to include Hsu’s work.

While exposure is every artist’s goal, it can also serve as a confidence booster. Hsu says living in Shaker has greatly infl uenced her creative skills and growth as an artist.

“Not only is Shaker a beautiful city in which to live, it’s very upscale and the school is excellent. My two boys graduated from Shaker High School. Were it not for Shaker, we probably would not have moved to the Northeast Ohio area. People here are friendly and open-minded. They accept and value us as we are, and they understand and appreciate my artwork, too.”

Learn more at annasbrushpainting.blogspot.com

Originally published in Shaker Life, Winter 2021.
2021-01-04T15:34:21+00:00Arts & Entertainment|