Annie Tull is an artist, yogini, and sustainability advocate based in Oakland, California. Raised on 11 acres of farmland in the Brandywine River Valley of Delaware, Annie grew up roaming the woods, caring for seedlings, and studying the landscape painters of the Brandywine School of art. This upbringing fostered within her a deep reverence for the land and a fascination with the healing power of nature while laying the foundation for her personal philosophy and creative work.
Annie relocated to San Francisco in 2008, undertaking study in philosophy, ethics and fine art at the University of San Francisco. She studied abroad in Florence, Italy, where she trained under master fresco painter Mario Passavante and learned the traditional methods of grinding and mixing raw pigments to create natural paints that stand the test of time, a practice she carries on today.
Tull graduated with honors and went on to pursue an MFA from The George Washington University in Interior Architecture and Design. There she studied sustainable building practices and was particularly inspired by the ideas of Paolo Soleri. She graduated in 2014 eager to create spaces that foster not only the physical health of their occupants, but their spiritual wellbeing as well.
In the past six years, Annie Tull has organized over 20 exhibitions and installations of her work in public spaces, corporate environments, and private showings, and has participated in countless curated exhibitions around the San Francisco Bay Area. She continues to transform under-utilized spaces into divine experiences through her commissioned string installations, and teaches her proprietary “Mindful Art Foundations” course in schools throughout the East Bay.
By working in both two- and three-dimensional media, Annie Tull reaches beyond the traditional art audience to inspire people in their everyday spaces.
I believe that the human soul is at its most vibrant when it is in communion with nature. My paintings are an invitation to embody that spiritual connection. Referencing landscapes borne from memory and dreams, in bold chromatic gestures, I tell of the richness of a life lived in full presence with Earth.
So many of the issues we face as a global community stem from the systematized disconnection from the land over centuries of discovery and invention. We have stopped living as members of the Earth’s ecosystem and have instead decided that evolution means we are a species set apart, no longer subject to the laws that govern life on this planet. We take, we use, we ravage, and we don’t give back. We have abjectly refused our animal essence and have become lost. We no longer know the planet we occupy. How can you value something you don’t even know?
And so I paint to remind us, we are not separate. We are part of a much greater whole. A whole that is full of magic and beauty and harmony, but only if we participate as we are meant to. The fragility of nature is our fragility. We are not separate from nature, we are part of it. In protecting nature, we protect our own livelihood.
Rejecting the superiority complex of the human intellect, I paint soul portraits in which nature takes precedence, and the human physical body relinquishes its corporeal self to the spiritual attunement that comes from letting nature be the greater force.
My work expresses this connection to nature in varied ways. In Soular Power, the imagery of a young woman exalting the Sun, simultaneously absorbing and radiating the divine energy of the Source of all life, speaks to the unbreakable union between human and nature. Namasté, Love portrays a more intimate soul bond: the figure is bowing her forehead in a gesture of third-eye transmission, in much the same way a Tibetan monk might greet a fellow traveler on the mountain path. She addresses the flowers: “The divine light in me honors the divine light in you.” With Risen, I have taken a more reverent view of the raw power of nature’s Great Replenisher. Each year when the wildfires sweep through California, I am awed by Mother Nature’s transformative strength. It is a reminder of how small and helpless humans are in the grand scheme of the universe, and how important it is to acknowledge and respect that which is greater than us.
In honoring the ways nature works tirelessly to support us, I aim to stir the place in each of my viewers that intuitively understands the deep soul connection that is not only possible, but essential between humans and all other life. By introducing such imagery to our cultural dialogue, I hope to help others find the source of their own connection so that we may collectively return to an era of harmonious coexistence with the world we inhabit.