Anke's story is about a woman with a passion for painting beautiful works of art. It is also a story of how, at times, the business of life has interfered with the development of her gift as an artist. Resentment is not an option for Anke. She says, "No matter what I do I have fun - I enjoy my life."
As a young girl, Anke loved to draw and also tried her hand at embroidery. However, her practical mother felt that embroidery was an activity more suited to the "elite." She would have preferred that Anke pursue a more useful pastime such as knitting socks. Needless to say, Anke excelled in art classes at school. She was inspired by the old masters, in particular Van Gogh's sunflowers. Later in life when she was raising her children, caring for her aging grandmother and running a household, there was little time for painting.
In the 1970s she met Cornelius Hofman, an artist who in his younger years had an art school in Amsterdam. He was in his 80s at the time Anke met him. She was inspired by his work and he provided her with an opportunity to pursue her love of art. He encouraged her to paint, shared his knowledge with her and, best of all, shared his studio.
After moving to Sundre, over 20 years ago, Anke took a schoolbus driver's job to help pay for her art supplies with the result being that she had even less time to paint. Today, her child-rearing days are over and with her husband Karl's recent retirement Anke has more time to paint. She is grateful for his encouragement and help but sometimes as she is painting she feels she should be "working." Anke says "Painting is like playing - it's so much fun." She has a list of people to do paintings for in return for favours they have done for her.