How I Became an Art Thief. Victim: PDX Artist Anya Roberts-Toney

Art thievery is not something I figured I would stoop to in my mid-thirties. But I have three kids, so there’s not much that’s below me at this point.

This is PDX artist Anya Roberts-Toney.


She paints.

We both moved to Portland from New York City almost six years ago, and we’ve been trying to get together for tea for a few years. I’ve used that time to unsuccessfully track down The Scream.

This is what an art thief looks like.


White gloves, disguise shades, willing accomplice. This is a pre-heist art-world stakeout at the 2016 Disjecta Auction.

This is Anya’s art studio. It’s in the middle of getting put together. Anya recently packed up her old studio and moved it to her new home (mortgage! fixing things! way to go Anya and Jonathan!).


Your first mistake was inviting me into your home.

This is the kind of temporal chaos that art thieves thrive on.


Never unpack, Anya. It’s better for me that way.

This little beauty is what Anya’s working on now.


I love the texture, and the feminist play, but I had my eye on her old stuff.

When I first saw Anya’s two paintings of twin girls over five years ago, I coveted them.


The paint is more vibrant in real life. Sorry girls.

They’re whimsical but not simplistic. There’s a lot of depth in the fairy-tale–like scenes, and a lot of emotional grey—the in-between zones—even though the colors are vibrant.


Also, the camera adds ten pounds.

I wanted them. So I stole them. Now they’re “on loan” in my home office.


Tip: Let the artist think you’re playing a fun game of seeing how many painting you can fit in your car without anything breaking.

You know how things often make the most sense in retrospect? Now that the paintings are here, I’m thinking I built up this office over the past few months just so the girls would feel at home. I have my yellow desk made by our friend Aaron out of our house’s original front door, a beautiful deep-blue velvet chair, and now Anya’s twins.



I’m really happy in this space. This guy, too.

Find more of Anya’s work here.


It has come to my attention that Anya and Jonathan just got engaged! Congrats, guys! {millions of heart emojis} As a wedding present, I will not be giving you back these paintings. I mean, they’re on loan, and you can’t give someone something that’s borrowed.

Your Comments Feed My Blog

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s