By Ken Kemp
She comes from a family of educators, rescuers, writers, travelers and attorneys.
Books and spirited debate surrounded her in childhood as well as non-profit work, camping, and reading. Her family traveled often together, emphasizing art, architecture, and learning about other cultures. Anne loved that travel, going solo to Europe for the first time at age 17. She has lived in Spain and Italy, by now visiting every continent except Antarctica.
Anne Beletic went off to college in Austin but returned to Dallas and Southern Methodist University her first year because her beloved mother was dying of breast cancer. It was a painful, too-soon farewell.
At SMU, she found her “tribe.” The poets, writers and artists became her academic family. She graduated an English major with a departmental distinction in creative writing.
Anne loves words – and set out to master their use. But she also had a practical side. She did not come from wealth. She knew she would by necessity support herself (and possibly a younger brother). She had not yet written anything she could sell, and she was uncertain that she ever would. So instead of attending a graduate writing program, she entered SMU’s Dedman School of Law.
After graduating law school, she paid her dues at a major law firm. Soon, she launched out on her own. Her practice in family law grew rapidly.
In the year 1999, she commenced the long and complicated process of adopting a child from China. In the almost two years it took to bring little Katie home, she looked for something that would distract her.
In what appeared to be a random move, Anne enrolled in a “beginner’s” watercolor art course at SMU. At the first (and only) class Anne attended, it clearly was not a novice class. It was advanced and the professor demanding. With the materials she purchased for the course, she simply started painting on her own. It became her own self-study with beautiful art books as her guide. They were volumes on her favorite painters: Van Gogh, Klimt, Schiele, Freud, Kandinsky, Rothko, and more.
She never returned to that class, but she was becoming an Artist.
Anne has always been drawn to bright colors and shapes, landscapes, faces, and patterns. From the start, she would lose track of time as she stood before the white of watercolor paper and applied brushstrokes of color. “I loved watercolor from the start because, well, it’s a meditative medium and has a life of its own,” she explains. “If you make a strong mark and it’s wrong, you can’t change it. You must adjust. It’s a dance. It’s magic. When it’s good, it’s as though some unseen force is there with me as I paint. I learn to listen to it. The results often surprise me.”
In that studio she often loses track of time. “Art is the only thing we do without rules or a roadmap. It’s like going into the wilderness.”
In addition to her house in Dallas, Anne had a second home in Telluride at the time. Just six months after that fateful day in art class at SMU, she entered several of her watercolors in a Telluride art competition and much to her surprise, she was selected and identified as an “artist of significance.”
Anne says her art is all about color, emotion, and joy. Her work is celebrated in shows, exhibits and galleries far and wide. (see below)
She also continues her work as a passionate family law attorney.
Anne was attracted to FLITE TO FREEDOM because she believes in its mission and in her friend Angela Mia de la Vega. Her work has been featured in two of our FLITE events and will also appear in November’s gathering.
Her commitment as a Flite Artist helps fulfill her desire both to help others and to give back. She also partners with Operation Kindness, Flight Dwell with Dignity and other worthy causes in the DFW area. Anne is grateful the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dallas for introducing her to a seven-year-old girl over 5 years ago. “It’s like a mindfulness exercise the whole time I am with her. It’s one of my favorite times of each week,” Anne reports.
Katie, Anne’s daughter, is still her most important source of art and life inspiration. Katie finished high school this year and is off to college.
FLITE’s commitment to marginalized and exploited women and girls relates directly to Anne’s passions. Art becomes an expression of confidence, hope and joy. The combination of reaching out to support and encourage - all in the context of the creative process - can change a person… and the world.
It has for Anne.
More about Anne’s Art -
Appeared in 30 juried art exhibits, including solo shows at American Airlines corporate headquarters and Abi Ferrin’s in the West Village
Currently displayed in public and private spaces throughout the country
Jury selected for the “Best of Watercolor” book “Splash 19” (Northern Lights publishing) in 2018.
She is a signature member of the Southwestern Watercolor Society
Her "Red Haired Girl" won “best of show” in art society shows
See more on her Web Site