A true watercolor, one of my first and quite nice. But I had my mentor at my side.
My first commission piece was done for a B&B whose exterior was rather unwelcoming. My initial attempts looked like the building but had no appeal. Once familiar with the details of the building, I painted it from memory. This is the softer and more romantic painting they purchased and continue to use 15 years later.
This painting was so much fun, but having been done at the end of an intense workshop with Ann Vasilik, I have tried to reproduce it with other subjects and have failed. Advice to self: ALWAYS come home and immediately PRACTICE what I learned.
This painting, done in a Chinese Watercolor workshop at the Duluth Art Institute, was intended to be a gift for my friend who had had a dream of a horse trapped in a small room, rearing up and trying to escape. Sadly, I was going to visit my father and wanted his love so much, I brought this painting as a gift for him. Presenting the gift to my dad, his wife said, "Oh, we'll give it to Amanda, she loves horses." I was speechless and if that had happened today, I would have said "No, if you are giving it away, I will take it back." But then, I wasn't who I am today. I have never stopped regretting that I ignored my gut and did not gift this horse to my friend for whom I had originally painted it. I didn't earn my father's praise or love. But that was then. This is now.
I try to save every failed painting and recreate it to my liking. I did a painting with this butterfly in a horribly "busy" background. I hated it. After spending a few years in my rejects file, I looked at it and cut out the butterfly. Hmmm. I pasted it on a soft gray matboard and framed it. It was the first thing that sold in that exhibit!
I love animals. Not so much that I would would be fool enough to pet a rhino, but I am always amazed by how much we can learn from animals about ourselves. I sold my zebra to a couple who then commissioned me to do a rhinoceros. This is a large painting and done quite opposite of the controlled painting of a zebra. The couple did not like it, but one of my best friends and spiritual mentors, bought it. Made me happy!!!
"Cookshop in Wales" Prints Available
We traveled to Hay-on-Wye, a internationally renowned book town in Wales, for my book-collector husband to shop for rare books. I just shopped. It was a cold, damp November but everything was so quaint. My husband was not sure how he would transport all the books he was going to find and buy. I spent more than he did and came home with more goods. He found only four books that met his expectations!
"Sunflowers" Prints Available
A happy painting and lots of fun to create at a Karlyn Holman workshop in Washburn, Wisconsin. Much fun, much learned, and this painting which has been very popular.
"Sunrise on Lake Superior"
Lake Superior breathes its life into Duluth, Minnesota, the city where I grew up and lived until three years ago. The earth's largest freshwater lake (by volume) sometimes made us colder than hell, other times, it kept us warmer. You never knew from one day - no, one moment to the next - how she would dress herself.. I realize now that I took her majesty and strength for granted. In Asheville I have the mountains, and I am trying not to take their daily transforming beauty for granted. This is another painting I loved. It sold immediately upon being hung in an exhibition in Sandstone, Minnesota. Sadly, I had no prints made.