Anne Lisette Boysen, Germantown artist

Anne Lisette Boysen wrote that she was "compelled" to paint. "Painting is my life, my work, and my fun."
Anne Lisette Boysen wrote that she was "compelled" to paint. "Painting is my life, my work, and my fun." (JOSEPH PAINTER)
Posted: November 27, 2011

Anne Lisette Boysen, 72, of Germantown, an artist, died of ovarian cancer Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Penn Hospice at Rittenhouse.

Ms. Boysen's colorful paintings in oil, acrylic, and mixed media ranged in style from impressionistic landscapes to abstract florals.

On her website, she wrote that she was "compelled" to paint. "Painting is my life, my work, and my fun. . . . When I camp, walk and bicycle, I can't help but feel inspired to continue the landscapes, and when my flowers bloom, feel inspired to do the florals."

One of Ms. Boysen's paintings, Games of Waves (Debussy), combined music notes and bold waves of color.

She said on her website the melodies of Beethoven and Dvorak and the energy of Elvis Presley and Kool and the Gang, among others, "made me dance and paint. I am a musician wannabe, having studied piano, flute and voice."

Ms. Boysen had a beautiful soprano voice, said her friend Stan Cutler, and she performed in choirs and in community theater when she lived in Susquehanna County for several years in the 1990s. Cutler and his wife, Valerie, were Ms. Boysen's longtime neighbors in Germantown.

"She had an incredible drive, transporting her paintings to galleries in her van and attending openings," Cutler said.

In 2001, Ms. Boysen was interviewed by The Inquirer about corporations' cutting back on art acquisitions. In the 1980s, she said, her paintings were bought by banks, pharmaceutical firms, and other manufacturers. "But now it's kind of tough," she said. "Being an artist is like beating your head against the wall. It's a lonely profession and a hard business."

She acknowledged, however, that "good things can happen." The Fox Chase Cancer Center had recently bought two of her paintings. And at a show in Chester Springs, one of her abstract paintings sold for $3,200.

In 2005, Ms. Boysen published a book of her paintings, Art of Exuberance.

Her works were awarded first prize at several shows, including Main Line Art Impressions, the Berks Art Alliance, and the Artist Equity Triennial competition in Philadelphia in 1984.

Ms. Boysen grew up in Frankford and graduated from Lincoln High School. She worked as a secretary while earning bachelor's and master's degrees in school psychology from Temple University.

During the 1960s and '70s, she was a counselor and school psychologist in the Central Bucks School District while taking classes at the Philadelphia College of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

She continued to work part time at Central Bucks in the early 1980s until she established herself as an artist.

Ms. Boysen had battled cancer for five years. She continued to paint until several months ago, when she could no longer hold a brush, Cutler said.

Ms. Boysen was married to Charles Bittner from 1972 to 1978 and to Dan Ericson from 1989 to 1999.

She is survived by her former husbands.

A memorial service will be at noon Sunday, Dec. 11, at her home in Germantown.


Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.

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