Anne Crandall’s Art Journey

We love this testimonial from participant Anne Crandall about how art classes with North Cascades Institute have brought joy and inspiration to her life! Our next art class is "The Art of the Map" online with Véronique Robigou over two sessions Nov 20 and 30; learn more and register here.

My family moved to Washington state almost 28 years ago from New England. Of course, that involved finding new services like doctors and dentists. One morning, my dental hygienist and I were talking about being creative and learning new things. She told my about North Cascades Institute and the great classes they had to offer in an amazing environment.

It was a few years before I actually was able to look into the Institute, their Environmental Learning Center and the art classes that they offer. As a mom to a disabled daughter, I was tied down at home seeing to her and my family’s need. When more personal time became available to me in the Fall of 2005, I felt free to explore learning opportunities and getaways of my own.

The first class I registered for at the Institute was in June of 2006. I had been dabbling in watercolor, but decided that the class at the Institute with Molly Hashimoto might be right up my alley. I trekked up to the North Cascades, drove over the beautiful bridge at the dam for Diablo Lake and was immediately immersed. Wow – the indescribable color of the lake, the snow capped peaks and tall trees took my breath away!

I learned so much that weekend and made some new friends. The entire experience fed my soul: the beautiful sustainable buildings, amazing food and staff just to name a few. I returned home after my trip and spread word of the class to my watercolor friends. I have returned 3 times since then, always bringing a friend along. One year I even got to visit the corvid class and learn about crows and ravens! I always learn something new about plants, animals and nature when I come. I just love how the campus is so open both environmentally and structurally.

That first trip to the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center opened a world of possibilities for me. I intend to return someday for another class, but meanwhile I try every year to make a donation to the Institute. Reading the newsletter about Mountain School and other activities is something I enjoy. North Cascades Institute is a great steward of the environment and a very kind friend to people!

—Anne Crandall




  1. Catherine

    Thanks Anne for sharing such a heartfelt message. Your paintings so capture the essence of the North Cascades!

  2. Stephanie Sackett-Converse

    Lovely story, lovely woman, hugely talented, and an inspiration to many.

  3. fmh

    Anne, you are a blessing to so many. I know you mostly through Church and exercise class, you are so talented in so many ways . I loved reading your story.

  4. Mary Nichols

    To my dear sister Anne, I’m so happy you have such a wonderful place to feed your soul and expand your creativity. Your paintings are amazing, and I loved reading your message! Love you

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