Annie Harris Massie

Inhabited Light
21 November 2020 – 17 January 2021
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New Paintings in Oil and Encaustic
17 November – 30 December 2018
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6 July – 13 November 2016
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Cultivated Wild
21 November – 28 December 2014
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Anne Adams Robertson Massie and Annie Harris Massie
16 November – 30 December 2012
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New Paintings
15 October – 14 November 2010
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Paintings & Drawings from the Landscape
4 – 29 November 2008
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Celebrating Women in the Arts
Women’s History Month, Featuring a Group of 37 Women Artists
1-30 March 2007
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Light & Place
27 October – 25 November 2006

Places of Color and Light
19 November 2004 – 2 January 2005


Annie Harris Massie paints landscapes in oil with an interest “in capturing the essential character of a place.” In describing her interest in a landscape’s essential character, Massie explains, “I am less interested in extraneous detail; rather, I am more interested in distilling a landscape down to the essence, stripping it down to the basics—to a particular, very specific quality of light and shape which hold the essential character of a place. I am attracted by the transformative nature of light, as the interplay of light and shadow reveals and obscures form.” Massie notes there is meaning and significance in the landscape beyond observed visual fact. She states, “I am interested in a poetic quality beyond observed visual fact; however, my work firmly remains an exploration of visual experience and optical phenomena, particularly of ephemeral, transitory effects. In painting the landscape I seek the unique character of a particular place, a particular time of day, a particular season, a particular quality of light.”

Born in Charlottesville, Virginia, Annie Harris Massie resides in Lynchburg. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art from Hollins College and a Masters in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work is held in numerous private and public collections including the Federal Reserve Bank, Richmond, Virginia; Bank of the James, Lynchburg.

In addition to painting, Massie founded McKinnon and Harris, Inc. with her brother, William McKinnon Massie, Jr., to manufacture their original designs of furniture for the landscape. Their garden furniture has won numerous design awards and been featured in House & Garden, House Beautiful, Southern Accents, Veranda, Elle Decor, Architectural Digest, and Town & Country.

My work is drawn from my experience of the natural world. In my landscape paintings I want to capture the unique character of a place, time of day, season, through a particular quality of light and shape.  The ephemeral, transitory effects of light in the landscape are more interesting to me than tangible subject matter such as trees, fields, etc.   The paintings may appear to have been created by an economy of means, but closer examination reveals that the work is the result of an editing process often with multiple layers painted in an attempt to reduce and distill subject matter to the essentials.  An awareness of the materiality of paint, its weight and plasticity, is interesting to me as a counterpoint to fluctuating and ethereal light.

In addition to my landscape paintings, I’ve recently become interested in paintings of elements taken from the landscape, flora arranged as a still life, in oil and sometimes oil and encaustic.  I think of these more as studies, drawings in paint.  The subject matter in this series is still secondary to my principal interest of light.