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Scratchboard artist Ann Ranlett to show at Art & Brew

The Ratter
The Ratter
Ann Ranlett

Artist Ann Ranlett is really “in her element when working with scratchboard.” She will also be in her element at the upcoming Art & Brew event being held April 26, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Along with 16 other artists, Ranlett will be displaying her works at Roseville Brewing Company in an event also benefiting the Placer SPCA.

Scratchboard Art by Ann Ranlett
Ann Ranlett

Her work is predominantly pets, animals and nature subjects so supporting the Placer SPCA cause makes this opportunity to exhibit and sell her work an even greater reward. Along with the less widely known scratchboard technique, Ranlett also works in watercolor and mixed media. Ranlett’s subjects come to life in her scratchboard pieces that are amazingly lifelike and realistic with intricate texture and detail. The nature of scratchboard art allows her “fascination with the colors and textures found in nature” to find an ideal expression. According to Ranlett, her biological and scientific background also makes her “well suited and comfortable with realistically rendered pieces.”

The Art & Brew artist says that “when I need a break from the time-consuming detail work [of scratchboard], I switch to watercolor [and] usually add a little pen and ink or color pencil.” Her full time career as an artist started in 2003 but she has been drawing since she could hold a crayon. Ranlett says, “I’m mostly self-taught, although I’ve taken an art class here and there. My light bulb moment was when I took a scratchboard workshop at an illustrator’s conference in the late ‘90s.”

Ranlett has been a supporter of local rescue organizations through both donations from her art sales proceeds as well as donating art to various fundraisers. Since the bulk of her work is pet portraits, Ann says that “the subjects are close to my heart even if they’re someone else’s pets.” Her household is currently blessed with a 12 year old Border Collie and a 3 ½ year old Chihuahua mix. Animals have always been a big part of her life and her artwork demonstrates that bond.

According to Ranlett, scratchboard art is “a medium that allows for amazing detail but is also surprisingly forgiving and versatile” She “primarily uses an X-Acto knife to work the surface … to remove the black ink from the board to reveal the white coating beneath. Ink can be added and re-scratched in order to create softness and a range of tones to enhance detail. Color can also be added to the scratched areas of the board.”

Ranlett is a Signature member of the International Society of Scratchboard Artists and clearly knows her stuff. More information about this amazing medium and its techniques can be found at the ISSA website here. Evidence of Ann Ranlett’s expertise is revealed when viewing some of her images and perhaps mistaking them for a fine photograph. In other words, it’s that realistic. See the slideshow image of “The Ratter” and judge for yourself. It could truly be mistaken for a black and white photograph!

Other work by Ranlett also includes watercolor on synthetic paper called Yupo which she uses to create “Petzazz” pieces that are wildly colored with less detail than the scratchboard. She is also a photographer but primarily uses her photos for reference. You can see more of Ann Ranlett’s art at her official website here and on her facebook art page here. Her work is also displayed at the Auburn Old Town Gallery and will be part of the Loomis Loop studio art tour in May, the Newcastle Art Studios Tour in October, along with other regional shows in San Diego, Auburn and others.

A variety of Ann’s work will be shown at the Art & Brew event with some originals, print reproductions, an assortment of miniature scratchboards, note cards and magnets as well as earrings. Most of the pieces will be animal themed but she will also bring along some vintage tractor and Harley pieces. And while Ranlett is not really a beer drinker herself, she says it’s a “great idea to pull three different markets together” with art fans, pet lovers and beer drinkers because “there’s something for everyone.” The event takes place rain or shine on April 26 at the Roseville Brewing Company located at 501 Derek Place in Roseville, CA. Everyone is welcome to come browse, enjoy the beer and shop the fine art on display and perhaps even visit a pooch or kitty at the Placer SPCA pet mobile that may be on site.

For event information, please visit the announcement article here. Another Art & Brew article featuring photographer Philip Venable can also be found here. For more information you can also contact event curator Gayle Rappaport-Weiland at