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About Anita Baarns

My Story

Anita Baarns was born in Fontainebleau, France, raised in the Netherlands, and came to the United States to pursue her higher education majoring in fine art. She entered Northern Virginia Community College in 1988, graduated summa cum laude, and transferred to the University of Maryland, where she was awarded her degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts, summa cum laude, in 1993.

Anita’s passion for horses arose in the Netherlands where she learned dressage and continued while riding at Rock Creek Horse Center in Washington, D.C. After graduation, she moved to a historic farmhouse in Loudoun County, Virginia, and set up her studio. Anita was introduced to fox hunting, steeplechase races, and horse shows. She joined the Piedmont Fox Hounds and soon fell in love with the hounds and foxes. Being out in nature with these animals inspired Anita to become a sporting artist.

Anita’s realistic style of painting, with her focus on showing the soul of the animal through their eyes, made her a successful animal portrait artist. She enjoyed receiving hundreds of commissions to create images of beloved animals in pencil, pastel, and oil paintings.

“My greatest reward from creating a work of art is evoking an emotion in the viewer. When I see the emotion expressed by an animal’s owner when they first see my finished portrait of their beloved animal and tears well up in their eyes, I know I’ve done a good job.”

The country life of an Artist

This book is a rare collection of 281 works of art, together with entertaining stories describing their creation during the lifetime of the artist. The 33 Christmas cards relate to personal stories about the artist. They are intertwined with art-related stories that explain how the artist’s abstract style changed in order to create realistic portraits of animals.


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