How Artist Annabel Sclippa is turning Trauma into Beauty

 This is a Northern Arizona member spotlight for Annabel Sclippa Fine Art in Cottonwood belle w borderAnnabel Sclippa reflects fondly on the days she would sit and watch her grandfather paint. “He captured the beaches, boats, houses and landscapes of New England in a way that was more beautiful to me than the world I observed immediately in front of me,” she writes. It was her grandfather’s passionate watercolor paintings that first inspired her to travel to China, France, Africa, New York, Colorado, and Arizona.

Growing up in different cultures and landscapes as an emancipated minor afforded Annabel with many opportunities and experiences, but along the way there have also been challenges, including a severe spinal cord injury sustained at the age of 17, which left her paralyzed. And later on, in her 30s - 40s, a series of life saving surgeries leading to a year and half of illness; finally arriving at a fulfilling journey of renewal, healing and transformation.

Wheel Head by Annabel Sclippa

Prior to becoming a full-time flourishing artist, Annabel first became well known in the Verde Valley as the proprietor of the highly successful bed and breakfast, The Annabel Inn. Popular among visitors, The Annabel Inn received consecutive Readers' Choice Awards for Best B&B in the Verde Valley until it's closing in 2012 as Annabel underwent her life saving surgeries. After her recovery, she began painting and completed her first 20 pieces within three months. “Finally an epiphany struck me that to heal, I must paint and find that sense of freedom that I saw expressed through my grandfather.”

Mostly self-taught, Annabel has taken classes in oil painting from Robert Venosa and Martina Hoffman in Visionary Art as well as watercolor from Sandra Lothrop of Martha's Vineyard. Artistic talent is engrained deeply Sclippa's roots. Her mother is a color therapist since the 1980's, her grandfather, Nembhard Nottinham Culin, was an architect and artist, whose paintings of "houseboats in the Orient, Cafes in Paris, Canals of Venice set in me a desire for travel." Roots reaching even further back to her great uncle, Steward Culin working as curator for the Brooklyn Museum for 25 years.


Annabel expresses her tremendous journey of struggle, triumph, beauty and feminism into each work she creates. In April of 2013, Sclippa debuted her ‘The Lady as Landscape series’ at The Manheim Gallery, which she described as, “A personal reflection of life-saving surgeries, paralysis, and healing, as shown through a process of transformation of trauma into beauty.”

More recently, Sclippa has shown at Schoolhouse Restaurant in Cottonwood, RooPho Gallery in Roosevelt Row, and even internationally in Costa Rica's Casa Redonda Bed & Breakfast.

View Annabel’s artwork on her website, Annabel Sclippa Fine Art. Sales of original pieces can be made directly from the artist. You can also follow her on Facebook page to find out about upcoming exhibitions and artwork series releases.