Friday, June 27, 2014

Silver-plated

 Creature of faith
acrylic on masonite, 11x14"
This lady was inspired by all of the beautiful, colorful, and, sometimes, silver-plated representations of Mary that I saw in the churches while I was in Venice.
Mary has always been a comforting figure to me. I love seeing her standing calmly in the yards of family homes in my neighborhood. 
The title is about faith in all things good, including the good in one's self.
An 8x10" print of "Creature of faith" is now available in my etsy shop. :)
I hope you're all having a beautiful end to June!
xo, Amanda

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Burlap Ladies

Last week, I painted three ladies on 8x10" burlap-wrapped flat-board canvas. It was so much fun to experiment with new materials! I love the texture of the burlap. All three originals are listed in my etsy shop (frame not included). 
I hope you're all having a lovely weekend! 
xo, Amanda

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

To Flannery and to peacocks.

 I recently completed a commission that was a lot of fun for me - a portrait of the Southern writer Flannery O'Connor. I'm ashamed to say I have never read her writing, though years ago when I worked at a bookstore there was a beautiful volume of her stories with a large graphic of a peacock feather on the cover, and I was always tempted to buy it. The brief description of the stories' contents on the back cover struck me as a little dark, and that is what kept me at bay.
While working on this piece and researching Flannery, I learned that she felt her critics sorely misinterpreted her in this way, and that she did not feel her work to be as dark as it was made out to be. Knowing what these stories are about, and knowing that Flannery did not perceive them to be as dark as most interpreted, makes me want to read them now - to see what softness they reveal and to read more deeply past their plots.
When I was asked to do this piece, I wanted to honor Flannery. There were only a few things I solidly knew about her before beginning this piece, one of them being that she loved peacocks. Now that I know her better, I know that she faced incredibly difficult times, was passionate and determined in her career as a writer, and loved and was fascinated by all kinds of feathered creatures. For me, anyone who truly loves and cares for animals is a beautiful person. I look forward to reading some of her work this summer.
I hope you are all enjoying a lovely April! After a long winter, it seems that spring has finally come to Boston. xo

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Spring Sale

Prints are buy one, get one free in my shop through April 13th! 
Purchase one print and let me know which free print you'd like in the 'message to seller' box.
Happy Spring! xo

Friday, April 4, 2014

Noye's Fludde

Last week, by chance, I saw a sign in front of Trinity Church in Copley Square announcing their performance of Benjamin Britten's Noye's Fludde this weekend. Like me, you may be familiar with Noye's Fludde due to Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom. Since Noye's Fludde is one of the most enchanting parts of that film for me, I knew that I would be going. And I knew that I must bring Julia. :)
 (Noye's Fludde performed in Moonrise Kingdom)
(Noye's Fludde performed in 1958, one year after its debut, at the fourteenth Aldeburgh Festival. Photo copyright Aldeburgh Museum).
Britten's opera is based on a 15th century play from the Chester Mystery Cycle and was written to be performed by amateurs. Britten asked that it be performed in a church or large hall as opposed to a theater.
I teared up as children walked in herds up the aisle of the church holding animal masks to their faces (which no doubt they made themselves) and sang "Noye, Noye, Take Thou Thy Company." Waves were created by fabrics in various shades of blue billowed back and forth between two young actors. The chorus was provided by the church choir and various Boston and Cambridge children's orchestras. 
The audience was asked to sing along with the hymns. The percussions and trumpets and horns and voices in this opera are impeccable. 
Photography and video was not allowed during the performance, but I felt a sense of relief at that. I enjoyed the beauty of everything without worrying about capturing it. Just as it is Moonrise Kingdom which led me to Noye's Fludde, it is by the means of Moonrise Kingdom that I will keep the beautiful experience I had tonight.

It was a beautiful evening.
I hope you are all having a lovely Spring so far!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

the desert and the jungle

These three ladies are now available as prints in my shop!
xo

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

consider the oyster

These are my final two Month of Love pieces from weeks 3 and 4:
Week 3: Fetish
MFK Fisher's passion for food and her ability to describe the pleasure it can bring in writing is what led me to paint this little portrait of her for Fetish week. 
Consider the oyster.
Week 4: 69 Love Songs
I chose "The Book of Love" for my Magnetic Fields love song. The line "I love it when you read to me, and you can read me anything" has always struck me as one of the most romantic lines in any song ever.
I hope you all had a lovely February!
xo, Amanda

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

the elephant valentines

This week on The Month of Love, the theme is Favorite Love Story. 
I painted this small tribute to e.e. cummings, Marion Morehouse, and the elephant valentines (which, if you've been reading my blog for a while, you know I adore).
Cummings painted a beautiful elephant valentine for his wife, Marion, every year. Nine of them live at the New York Public Library.
I love the idea of a specific animal acting as a symbol for the love shared by two people, especially an animal as beautiful and gentle as the elephant.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

love is a mailbox of tiny valentines

I just did my first post for The Month of Love! This week's theme is "Unfiltered Valentine."
In elementary school, I loved celebrating Valentine's Day. Everyone making their own mailbox and giving out tiny colorful envelopes with hearts and stickers inside is something that still thrills me today.
The way we first see love as children is my idea of unfiltered love. Valentine's Day is one of the first little celebrations of our understanding of love, and celebrating it at school paves the way for the belief that love is for everyone - our friends, our families, our community - and not just a significant other.
I am lucky enough to work in an elementary school and partake in this fun ritual. It's one of my favorite days of the school year. This picture of a happy city classroom was done in pen and watercolor.
We have a Snow Day today here in Boston! I hope you'r all having a lovely February day, wherever you are.
xo, Amanda
P.S. - My friend Sam Trevino interviewed me for Paper Darts, and it's up now! Thanks, Sam. :)

Monday, January 20, 2014

stage and pine

 "Dare I not be Cleopatra"
acrylic on masonite, 12x15"