After living in Washington, D.C. for 16 years, Anne Cook realized that it was time to come home. She had painted everything from funky liquor stores to the monuments, engaged politically, and even written a book, Democrats in the Red Zone: an Independent Voter’s Take on the Game of Political Perception.

Tools of the trade. — Mark Lovewell

Ms. Cook said she was looking at the saturated colors of a harbor sunset in Wiscasset, Me. when she realized she had to reconnect with her Vineyard roots through her painting.

“I felt this reconnection to where I came from,” she said. “It just hit me that I had to start painting again.”

On Friday, August 12 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. there will be an opening reception for her artwork at the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank in Chilmark. The show will continue through August 25.

Ms. Cook was born and raised on the Vineyard and has summered on the Island ever since. She decided to move back to Chilmark last September, where her family has owned a home for generations.

“The colors last fall were uncharacteristically very intense. I just went out and started doing a series of work, not knowing when I was going to show it,” she recalled.

The series became a group of pastels and oils, each capturing different Vineyard scenes during that time of year. A proponent of full immersion, Ms. Cook did most of the pieces en plein air. For her, a painting being “pretty” is secondary. She would rather feel the wind as it whips across the cypress trees along the marshes than try to recreate it in a studio.

“Getting out there and fighting the elements and grabbing the landscape is all part of the thing,” she said. She calls it the “plein air experience.”

Opening reception for Anne Cook will take place from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on August 12. — Mark Lovewell

Ms. Cook has been working with pastels since high school. Her aunt, Anne McGhee, gave Ms. Cook her first set. Ms. McGhee has been an inspiration to Ms. Cook, along with many other artistic family members. Her great grandfather was the impressionist artist John Folinsbee, and his apprentice, Peter Cook, who married Mr. Folinsbee’s daughter, was her grandfather.

“Art is something that’s in the lifeblood of the family,” Ms. Cook said. Ms. Cook said she has known she wanted to be an artist ever since she first doodled all over her homework in grade school. However, she does not consider it a career. To her it is a calling rekindled by her move to the Island. “I have this mystical connection to the Island,” she said. “I am in a place that means something to me again.”