Artist: Anna Mary Hotchkis

Date of Birth:
1885
Date of Death:
1984
Relatives:
Sister of Isobel Hotchkis
Residence in Dumfries & Galloway:

Greengate Close, Kirkcudbright.  First exhibited at Royal Scottish Academy from Greengate, 1917.

Education:

Glasgow School of Art; Edinburgh College of Art; Munich.

Exhibited At:

Royal Scottish Academy, RSW,GI, Liverpool

Associates:

Jessie M King and E A Taylor

Bibliography:

Buddhist Sculptures at the Yen Kang Caves, Mary Augusta Mullikin and Annan Mary Hotchkis, 1935. 

 

The Nine Sacred Mountains of China: an illustrated record of pilgrimages made in the years 1935-1936, Mary Augusta Millikin and Anna Mary Hotchkis, Vetch & Lee Ltd, Hong Kong, 1973.

 

Tales of the Kirkcudbright Artists, Haig Gordon, Kirkcudbright, 2006.

Notes:

Oil and watercolour painter specialising in figures and landscapes.  Especially influenced by Chinese art when she visited China for the first time in 1922.  Taught in Peking 1922-1924 and stayed in China until 1937.  Rented a studio in the Greengate Close from Jessie M King.  Wrote Buddhist Sculptures at the Yen Kang Caves with Mary Mullikin, 1935 and The Nine Sacred Mountains of China, 1973 (see bibliography).

Image of the artist by kind permission of the artist’s family


Born in Crookston, Renfrewshire, Anna Hotchkis studied art initially at Glasgow School of Art.  In spite of parental concerns about her delicate health, she was encouraged by Fra Newbery to enrol for courses in drawing and anatomy.  After a year at the School, she and her two sisters, Isobel and Margaret, became part of a circle of female art students studying in Munich with Hans Lasker.  When her family moved to Edinburgh, Hotchkis transferred to Edinburgh College of Art for the remainder of her training, under Robert Burns, and upon completion of her formal education opened a studio in the city.

Her first links with Kirkcudbright go back to 1915 when she stayed in Greengate Close in a studio rented from Jessie M. King which many years later was to become her home.  At this time an outstanding colony of artists – including E.A. Hornel, Charles Oppenheimer, Jessie M. King and E.A. Taylor – lived and worked in Kirkcudbright.  She was a frequent visitor to the town in the years that followed, but an inveterate love of travelling drew her away, firstly to Europe and North America, and then China, always gathering material and painting in oils and watercolour.  She was first drawn to the East in 1922 by her sister who was a missionary in Manchuria for many years, and Anna spent a year teaching at Yenching University in Peking before returning to Scotland in 1924.

It was not long before she was back, however, and she stayed in China from 1926 until the Japanese invasion in 1937.  During her stay she undertook a journey which few Chinese people, if any, had accomplished.  Accompanied only by her American friend and fellow painter, Mary Mullikin, she decided to make a pilgrimage to the Nine Sacred Mountains of China and produce a book about the experience (it was published in 1973).  They had already the previous year brought out a book called “Buddhist Sculputures at the Yun Kang Caves”, and their publisher urged them to go on the trip.  The journey involved vast distances through a country which in 1935 and 1936 was in turmoil, with revolutionary forces and brigands vying for control in some areas.  Although trained in oil painting, Anna painted predominantly in watercolour, but on her travels in China, she often used pastels which were much easier to carry.  In 1937 she heard that the Japanese had entered Peking, so she set off homeward, spending six or seven months in India and finally setting up home in Kirkcudbright in 1938.

She was to live and work in the town for the rest of her life – apart from numerous trips abroad – often working alongside Dorothy Johnstone, May Brown, Cecile Walton and Jessie King, and her paintings have been exhibited as far afield as China and America as well as galleries closer to home in Britain.

She was a member of the Glasgow Society of Lady Artists and exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy, Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW) and Glasgow Institute (GI).