Photo: Landon Wise

The Living Forest

Anita Williams
138 S Howard St, York, PA 17401

“I always dreamed about living in the forest. We purchased some forested acreage in 2019 when our neighbor, Sam, passed away. Sam bought the property shortly after we moved to York County in around 1986. The property consisted of a farm house, a barn, an old log house and 24 acres of woods and fields. There were a couple of streams on the property and Sam decided he wanted to make a pond. He bought a backhoe and started digging. Soon there were three ponds on the property.

“When our young family grew out of our original house, Sam offered to sell us a 3 acre lot which was attached to his property. We built a house there in 1996. Our children grew up at this property and we spent many hours in the woods. We have had several dogs who have loved this forested land and one cat who walked with us.

“Sam’s health was failing as he got older. He could no longer safely operated the backhoe. In fact, his last attempt at digging a new pond almost killed him. The backhoe got stuck in the pond. Needless to say, the forest took the land back.

“This painting shows the Fox Run creek which feeds part of Sam’s pond system in the winter. I began painting it somewhat realistically using earthy tones for the plants and trees. At some point in the process it occurred to me that the entire forest was alive. My colors became brighter. I wanted to show the trees and grasses and even the water as living beings. I felt the reds and purples helped enlivened the painting. Thus I named it ‘Living Forest’.”

The Artist

Anita Williams

Anita Williams, a contemporary artist hailing from southern New Jersey, now resides in York County, Pennsylvania. With a background in Art Education (B.S. from Millersville University and M.S. from Wilkes University), she recently completed her MFA in Visual Art at Wilson College, where her art evolved from nature-inspired works to abstract and non-objective pieces influenced by movement and music. Currently employed as an Art Teacher at the Spring Grove Area School District, Anita has showcased her art extensively in the York and Lancaster areas, including a solo exhibition at the Handsome Cab Gallery in York and participation in a regional juried exhibition at Penn College in Williamsport.

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