“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” – Pablo Picasso
Growing up in South Africa, Annalise developed a love for art early on, but it took well into adulthood for her to feel comfortable sharing it with the world.
She started painting at a young age by making her own brushes using her mother’s hair and a porcupine quill.
Annalise continues to enjoy making art - even if her tools have become a little more sophisticated. She has worked as a graphic designer over the years, but she has more recently pursued a career in nursing.
Her background in those two fields recently spawned a spontaneous idea: Why not loan a few of her paintings to Nampa St. Luke’s, where she works as an RN in the telemetry unit?
“I just wanted my paintings to go up and bring some joy and cheer and happiness to people at the hospital,” Annalise said.
The paintings feature humpback whales, creatures that Annalise has always admired. She created the paintings while living in Hawaii in 2020. She said it wasn’t until about eight years ago she started to show anyone her art.
“It’s my absolute dream to swim with whales,” she said. “That will happen for me, I hope, one day.”
Annalise said she absolutely loved living in Hawaii, but she moved to Idaho after a friend told her about the work environment at St. Luke’s.
“The people at St. Luke’s are amazing, and I’m so, so happy with my work and the people I work with,” she said. “The people are what matters.”
Annalise's pieces aren’t small and they aren’t light, so St. Luke’s Building Services has installed hardware in the hallway between the main lobby and ICU/telemetry. The plan is for her artwork to be displayed for a few months and then the hardware setup will allow other artwork to be displayed in the future.
For now, Debbie Larson, director of nursing in Nampa, is thrilled that the RN's art will be on display.
“They’re just stunning,” Larson said. “I just love the idea of having it displayed and patients knowing we have a staff artist. It’s like, ‘Look at the talent we have.’”
Indeed, people who have seen the paintings in Larson’s office have asked: “Wait, is that our Annalise?”
For her part, she just hopes the paintings bring a little joy to the hospital.
“Art is just good for us,” she said. “It brings us some relief from stress.”
Right outside the outpatient pharmacy on the first floor of St. Luke’s Boise hospital, you will say an array of watercolors, photographs and even handmade handbags.
Nearly everything on the walls in the hallway was created by St. Luke’s employees. Currently on display is artwork from telemetry monitor technician Jessica Schwenken, crisis RNs Jean Richardson and Jennifer O’Hara and clinical support unit RNs Lyndsay Knight and Maggie Rogan.
Their work is for sale and will be featured throughout May and will move to near the gift shop at St. Luke’s Meridian in June. A portion of the proceeds goes to support the St Luke’s Auxiliary and the artists will donate a portion of their profits to the Women’s and Children’s Alliance.
Chris Langrill is a writer and copy editor for the St. Luke’s Communications and Marketing department.