Penciling us in
Artist Anda Chance will share her expertise at the Chelsea Art Center this month.
Colored pencils have come into their own in the past couple of decades, and artist-educator Anda Chance makes the most of them.
An art instructor and award-winning illustrator, Chance reveals a breathtaking range—and mastery—of mood, subject matter, shading and realism in her colored-pencil illustrations.
On her website (andachance.org) you will notice two acronyms associated with her name—CPSA and CPX—which indicate she has earned signature status at the Colored Pencil Society of America’s annual international exhibition and in the organization’s annual online exhibition.
“For both signature designations, I have to be accepted three times within a 10-year period,” Chance explained. “I now have earned a 10-year merit in the International Exhibition.”
Artists and aspiring artists can benefit from the veteran artist’s expertise by taking her illustration class, “Beyond the Coloring Book: Colored Pencils for Grown-Ups,” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 19-20 at the new Chelsea Art Center on Silver Springs Boulevard.
In the workshop, Chance will share what she considers to be some basic principles of art—value and contrast (hard vs. soft; light vs. dark), color, composition, visual impact and backgrounds, and she encourages student participation.
She will have students use a reference photograph and provide guidance on how to pick out colors.
“I hope to also share what can go wrong and how to correct errors (Mine, especially—I have made a lot of them!),” the instructor wrote in her Chelsea class description.
Born in Massachusetts and a veteran of the U.S. Navy, Chance moved to Florida in her younger years. She and her husband, “Irv,” raised a daughter, Elizabeth, in the Kissimmee area before moving a bit north.
“I left New England when I was a teenager, a long time ago,” she recalled. “Irv and I were in the military, so we kind of traveled around.”
After a brief stint working as an electrician’s mate in the Navy, Chance attended Arkansas Technical University, where she majored in art and art education, and then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in education from Florida Southern College.
She worked with watercolors and graphite before she fell in love with colored pencils.
“I do a lot from real life,” she explained. “If I see something that interests me, I’ll take a photograph of it … I also like industrial pieces, such as mechanical illustrations and architectural renderings, and I do a number of those, but I also like working with more organic subject matter. Water has been a favorite lately.”
In one drawing, Chance captures a woman asleep with her head on the shoulder of another woman in a New York subway car.
“It caught my attention,” Chance reminisced, “because everyone warned me to be so careful while on the subway and all that, you know? But I just had really good experiences there. But I saw those two ladies, and they were just so unconcerned about their surroundings. Either they were on their way to work or on their way home or something. So, I called it ‘The Daily Commute’ because I was just fascinated by the fact that it was a daily routine for them, and it was kind of an unusual situation for me.”
Over the years, her works have been purchased for government offices and charitable fundraisers. Along with showing her own illustrations, Chance also curates and installs exhibitions for galleries, art groups, public events and individual artists.
Her instructional jobs have included stints as an art instructor for Osceola Center for the Arts, Orlando Museum of Art, the School District of Osceola County, Santa Fe Community College outreach adult programs and workshops statewide.
These days, Chance works out of her studio in McAlpin, in Suwannee County, and stays busy working with the Live Oak Art Guild and as an exhibitions director for the Colored Pencil Society of America while pursuing her own artistic goals.
She says she is looking forward to her class at Chelsea Art Center and hopes it will be the first of more to come.
“The space feels really friendly and welcoming,” Chance said. “I think it’s going to be a good classroom experience. Barbara Fife and her team have a nice setup, especially for projecting what I’m doing for the students, things like that.”