Life in Focus: Ann Ranlett

Giving back is a way of life for local artist Ann Ranlett
By: Kim Palaferri, Photographer
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Ann Ranlett is a self-taught artist who took her passion of animals and art and turned it into a business opportunity.   Leaving the corporate world 10 years ago where she was a mapping and graphics artist for an environmental consulting firm  allowed her freedom to create her dream job.

According to Ranlett, she has been creating art since she first held a crayon.  Moving from the  biology industry to the art world came easily for Ranlett as she followed her passion.   

“I’ve been doing art all my life and my interest and passion are in pet portrait, so  it was an easy transition to leave my previous job, especially since I had commissioned work set up before I left,” Ranlett said.  

She suggests that people wanting to transition into a business like art look for their niche of some shape or form, and that will help them move into their desired field.

Ranlett converted her garage and created herself a home studio where she honed her skills in scratchboard and Yupo watercolor techniques that led her down the path of teaching workshops.  Scratchboard is a medium where she applies India Ink with a technical pen to a board then scratches it off with a exacto knife, creating a black and white image.  Yupo is a type of polypropylene watercolor paper, where paint is applied, and moved around the paper’s surface, giving it a vibrant flowing effect.

She has been educating other artists with her skillful art techniques for the past six years from her home studio. She also does an occasional workshop and   provides demonstrations through Placer Arts.  The artist has multiple awards to her title and was awarded Signature status to the International Society of Scratchboard Artists in last year, a prestigious honor.

Giving back is important to Ranlett. One of her dogs is from local animal shelter Auburn Area Animal Rescue Foundation.

“My husband John and I have made it a lifelong goal to only have pets that we have rescued,” Ranlett said.  

Two of her furry friends are often subjects in her paintings, Magpie and Arrow.  Ranlett donates a percentage of her art sales to local animal charities.  With her upcoming Down On The Farm show in April at Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital, through the Art Can Heal Program, Ranlett is hopeful to generate more donations. Another demonstration viewing opportunity of her scratchboard art will be held at High Hand Gallery on March 23rd and 24th in Loomis.  To see more of her work,  Ranlett is a member of Auburn Old Town Gallery where her work in continually on display.
Ranlett keeps her scientific interests fulfilled by taking part in a research project with her husband John.  For the most part, the couple helps track of Golden-crowned Sparrows that have been tagged and banded by Point Reyes Bird Observatory Conservation Science to follow the sparrows of the migration path from Point Reyes to Auburn.

The Sierra Foothills Audubon Society of Grass Valley funds the research project. In the past, the couple has participated in bird banding.