Anna Bondoc (b. 1969) is an artist, writer, and educator born in the Philippines, raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, and now living and working in Los Angeles. Using pen and ink on paper and alcohol ink on Yupo, she creates abstract works inspired by patterns and movement in nature.
Largely self-taught, she has done coursework at Otis College of Art and Design and Art Center College of Design. Anna has exhibited her paper cuts and ink drawings in small group shows in Los Angeles and created a commissioned piece for the Larchmont Charter School in Hollywood. Her art is part of private and corporate collections in Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta.
From 2005-2010, she ran Anna Bondoc Designs and sold her intricate, layered paper cuts as fine art, stationery, and licensed patterns. Her work has been featured in Apartment Therapy, Traditional Home, and Cloth, Paper, Scissors. In 2012, her how-to book, Simply Paper Cutting was released by Fox Chapel Publishing.
A graduate of the University of Michigan’s Honors English program, Anna is a published writer who taught Language Arts and Visual Arts at public and independent middle and high schools in Southern California. She lives in Pasadena with her husband and daughter.
After a decade of paper cutting, I turned to pen and ink in 2012 to draw with line. An avid hiker, I moved my pen in repetitive motions to mimic the layered, cracked, and undulating patterns of rocks, trees, and plants on Southern California hiking paths. This led me to investigate geology, erosion and deposition, and fractal patterns in nature. My “Slow Growth” and “Flow” reflect my interest in the natural forces that create organic beauty.
In 2016, I saw a video of murmurations, spectacular patterns created by large flocks of starlings that dip and dive in unison. I was inspired to draw with dots or stippling. In my “Murmuration” series, I allow dots to congregate and dissipate, generating spacious forms whose volume and tonality emerge on their own. Each work’s title alludes to metaphorical connections between the natural and manmade. “Grows Both Ways”, for example, reflects my thoughts on the slow bonding process between parent and child, followed by their eventual separation.
In late 2017, I needed a respite from this painstaking drawing style. I stumbled onto alcohol inks , which gave birth to “Hydrodynamics”, my exuberant, colorful painting series. I drop ink into pools of alcohol, swirl them around into biomorphic shapes -- ink murmurations, so to speak -- and then set them with a heat gun. The medium dries rapidly, which prevents me from overly controlling the outcome. After a piece has dried, I crop the area of ripples, edges, pools, and shadows that please me most.
This series is a shift to more iterative, experimental art making. I generate many pieces, select a few, and crop smaller areas, sometimes only 3 x 4 inches. The cropped area is scanned at very high resolutions and enlarged as digital prints. In my drawings, I'd been an artist manipulating the medium, but with alcohol inks I invite the medium to manipulate me. Suspending my ego reflects my growing interest in Buddhist tenets of apprehending reality without judgment and detaching from outcome.
My work—past and present—is unified by an abiding love of pattern, dynamic movement, and a delicate balance between contrasts: organic growth and human intervention; the permanent and ethereal; effort and intuition.