Attempt to thru-hike the Continental Divide Trail in 2019

I can’t believe how excited I am to announce that starting April 20th, and ending some time in October, 2019,  I will attempt to thru-hike the Continental Divide Trail (CDT).

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (in short Continental Divide Trail (CDT)) is a United States National Scenic Trail, running 3,100 miles (5,000 km) between Mexico and Canada. It follows the Continental Divide of the Americas along the Rocky Mountains and traverses five U.S. states — MontanaIdahoWyomingColorado, and New Mexico

It will be an incredibly inspirational yet also harrowing 6 month adventure lending itself to personal growth, adaptation, and artistic inspiration. My goal is to collect images and experiences that I will later use to inspire a series of oil paintings, focusing on my physical and emotional experience in a constantly evolving landscape.

Check out my blog or email me at for more information. I am eager to synthesize my collected data and experiences from the trail into a body of inspiring contemporary landscape paintings.


I am honored to be recommended and invited to attend the inaugural Oak Spring Garden Foundation Artist in Residency Program in July, 2018.



Hi fans,

I have two pieces on exhibit in the "Big Small Show" at the Drawing Rooms, Jersery City, NJ.
Gallery Hours Friday 4-7p, Saturday Sunday 12-6p

Exhibition closes 2/17/18 


Montello Foundation Artist-In-Residence Fellowship

Image: "Paper Model of Constellation Shelter 1 with Petroglyph Anasazi Yellow Jacket Man," 2016

Image: "Paper Model of Constellation Shelter 1 with Petroglyph Anasazi Yellow Jacket Man," 2016

April 30-May 14, 2016

Montello Foundation

Off the grid in North Eastern Nevada

As I write this I have been off the grid for 13 days listening to the oceanic wind, watching the mesmerizing sun rise and fall, waking to the hammer drilling of wood peckers, and inhaling the spaciousness of the remote high desert. The first week I spent in awe of the environment, not quite grasping how I would work with it in my art. I was doing watercolors about water but somehow that didn't jive. I did a painting in watercolor, wet on wet, en plein air, every night of the sun setting. Perfect for the ephemeral sky, however watercolor as a medium in the desert seemed an inappropriate one to use for rendering the arid land. I made a few colored pencil drawings called "American Desert Still-Lives" while continuing to dig deeper. I finally hit something that I want to develop further: constellation sculpture shelters. The dominant chords for me in this part of the Great Basin are sky, sun, shelter, light, wind, and stars. These outdoor sculptures would act as shelter from the sun and wind. The model above was made from paper. I pricked holes into the paper that correspond with the SouthWest sky at night. I also added a few fictitious constellation characters inspired by my discoveries at the Montello Foundation.

PCT start date April 30th, 2017

That's right, 86 days until I step foot on the PCT, on the Mexican boarder, heading north. The only thing in my life right now that would prevent me from hiking the entire Pacific Crest Trail this year is if I got the job I applied for two weeks ago in Oregon at Sitka Center for the Arts and Ecology. It seems, since I haven't heard from them this week, that the PCT is the winner of my time.

This of course is exciting and scary. I am excited to buy new gear such as the xtherm - a super warm sleeping pad - and a light weight canister stove. My ex-boyfriend and I hiked the JMT with his MSR Windburner Stove, which is a deluxe, frigging amazing stove, that is, if you are not the one carrying it. Since he will not be with me, I need to find myself a lighter alternative. On the Colorado Trail, I used a handmade penny stove, with a caldera cone, but now that I have camped with an excellent camp stove and a penny stove, I believe I prefer the reliability and speed of a canister stove. I do like that with the penny stove, you know how much fuel you have left in your clear denatured alcohol bottle, but I think it's pretty easy to get the statistics on burns per canister now a days.

So, to recap, I will be buying a stove, and an xtherm. I may also buy a bivy and use it in the desert, and send myself my free standing tent once I hit the Sierras.

On the JMT, I was able to borrow the Bearicaide canister. I am hoping I can borrow it again from the hiker. If not, I will need to buy a bear canister.

Follow me on my journey:

Caldera Arts Center Artist-in-Residence Fellowship and Open Studios

March 4-March 29, 2016/ Open Studios March 26, 2016

Caldera Arts Center

Sisters, OR

I spent twenty-four amazing and prolifc days making work at Caldera Arts Center in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. The first week I spent becoming familiar with the large studio space and majestic landscape. Meanwhile I painted watercolors in my A-frame cabin. The second week I began plans for larger, more ambitious sculptural installations proportional to the studio space. This work was created with resources at hand (drinking straws, sheetrock, lumber, paint and burnt wood). The compositions came from a need to link landscape with human desires for connection and a wish to focus on the gaps where things don't connect. The positive forms interact as if they are stretching, breaking, forming, reaching, piercing, filling, or spilling. The last week I worked non-stop in the studio on these sculptural pieces, finishing them for open studios.

Image: "Model of  Split ," 2016

Image: "Model of Split," 2016


element - progess

9 april - 22 may 2011
spool mfg.
curated by john ros
annie varnot
jennifer palmer
jodi hays
joel bacon
kirsten nash
nancy hubbard
richard feaster
opening reception: 9 april 2011, 7-9pm
closing reception: 21 may 2011, 7-9pm


Review of Annie Varnot's Work

Nash — on Varnot

Gallery Ell Studio Visit 06/05/2010

On a recent visit to the studio of artist Annie Varnot, I had the opportunity to view the artist’s biomorphic, landscape inspired sculptures, drawings, and photographs up close. I was instantly struck by the intensity of labor and craft that goes into her assemblages made from jewelry size pieces of cut drinking straws and the extremely detailed, lace cut-out drawings. The artist, who describes her goal as “creating an environment in which to be safe,” is approaching her project on a very intimate scale. “Swelling,” appears like a beautiful display of glowing blue coral. Illuminate by its light box base, the piece is presented as an anthropologic curiosity. But viewed up close, reveals itself to have more in common with a cleaver plastic model for a Sci-Fi movie about a post human colony created entirely of garbage. Varnot is taking on the bleak subject of consumer culture and human destruction of the environment, while calling attention to the fact that our nature as humans is to create more, more, more.

7. Varnot_Annie_Swelling.jpg

“Swelling,” drinking straws, thermometer, egg carton pieces, mixed media

Recently, the artist began a new project that involved salvaging the discarded, defective byproducts of egg farming- or the “unsellable” eggs. She was donated a large quantity of these eggs from a Canadian farmer, and then painstakingly blew out all the yokes so she could use the shell material in her work. Such a huge task has yet to see a clear result, but Varnot is once again attempting to turn destruction back into creation and is literally breathing new life into these discarded wombs. The cycle of creation and destruction are inseparable, and Varnot insists on perpetuating the cycle, by turning destruction back towards creation.

Kirsten Nash

June, 2010