Friday, November 21, 2014

Bust Craftacular is here!

 Tomorrow is the Bust Magazine Bust Craftacular holiday fair at the Cyclorama Center in Boston's South End from 11 am to 6 pm! I am SO excited!
I love to make special things for each fair I do. For this one, I did a limited edition of 5 hand-watercolored prints. I had so much fun making each one different.
And new post card packs! "Flora and Fauna in Technicolor."
And lots and lots of double-sided ornaments, per usual.
If you're in the area, you should come by! They are creating a cat cafe with adoptable cats from Broken Tail Rescue. That is my favorite part, I think.
xo, Amanda

Sunday, November 2, 2014

animals and literature

Boston-based arts organization Glovebox has made me the November Artist of the Month, and my little interview is up now. 
Thank you so much, Glovebox, for making November (my birthday month, the orange month) even more special.
xo, Amanda

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First Annual Art Walk in the Park in Cambridge

This upcoming Sunday!
On Sunday, August 24th, I'll be selling my prints and post cards alongside some of my favorite Boston artists! Held in MIT's University Park Common in Cambridge from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. I'm especially excited for this event because I get to contribute coloring pages to a kid's table, and there will be food trucks!!!! Come by and say hi! :)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

see the jungle when it's wet with rain

These two new paper dolls are available in my etsy shop now!
Sadie of the Sea paper doll

Eliza the Explorer paper doll
I hope you all have a wonderful first day of August!
Love, Amanda

Sunday, July 27, 2014

website unveiling

After all this time, I finally have a legit website! My domain name of used to lead to this blog; this blog is now merely A weird, little change in my (sentimental) art life.
The truth is that things have changed so much in the promotion department since I started keeping this blog. This used to be my main way of communicating with people who liked my art. Now things like facebook pages, instagram, and twitter have taken the place of old-fashioned blogging.
As someone who spent her whole life journaling and drawing in sketchbooks and being obsessed with writers, I do love the sort of notebook-quality of a blog that holds everything together in one place.
I take comfort in knowing that this blog will never end. Even if no one were ever to read it again, I think I'd still post just for my own sense of keeping track of things. :)
So here's to change, and here's to blogs, and here's to you guys for reading it, especially those of you who have been reading it for years. 
All my love,

Friday, June 27, 2014


 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!

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"

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

sunset orange, green, and grey

 "Lovely in the middle"
acrylic on masonite, 11x14"
This painting was inspired by those beautiful old linen postcards of American West deserts, with their hot pink skies, cacti in many shades of green, and the vibrant printing that made these colors so. I imagined a girl in grey and silver against such bright colors.
I hope you're all having a beautiful New Year!
xo, Amanda

Thursday, January 9, 2014

seeking comfort in books of orange

I have been on an immense reading kick. Reading is something I turn to in times of need. Lately, the need is for nothing more than a little bit of comfort in the bleak winter months. Since I went home for "winter break" (the perk of working in the public school system), I have devoured Rachel Dratch's Girl Walks Into a Bar, Anita Loos' Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Amanda Hesser's Cooking for Mr. Latte, and am now in the midst of MFK Fisher's The Gastronomical Me.  
"Personal essays," as I would call them, have always been among my most favorite things to read.  I love autobiography. I love creative women. I love reading their musings about their chosen form of art and their life beyond that art. Anne Fadiman, an author whose essays center around her own love of books and writing, is one of my best loved in this category, and I've relished every book by an awesome female comedian that has come out in the past couple of years (Tina Fey, Mindy Kailing, and, most recently , Rachel Dratch).
Food literature is somewhat new for me, though. Hesser's Book was so deeply comforting to me that it made me long for more writing of a similar subject matter and nature.
My first exposure to food literature, I would say, was when I read the letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto last winter. The book and the women had a lasting effect on me. Interestingly enough, it was while watching the movie "Julie and Julia" that I became "acquainted" with Amanda Hesser. I've watched that movie so many times that her name has always stuck with me ("Amanda Hesser of the New York Times"), and she actually appears as herself in the movie.
In my beloved Harvard Bookstore on New Year's Day, mere pages away from being done with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, I peered on the Cooking shelf in search of something to read (The Harvard Bookstore has my favorite cooking section - it is fairly small, in a cozy spot, and it seems to be more food literature than actual cookbooks). I spotted Hesser's name on a wide spine and, feeling warmth from her connection to a movie that is warmly connected to a book I love, purchased her collection of recipes and memories. I read it so quickly and, knowing Hesser herself has no other literature published, knew I needed more of something similar.
MFK Fisher is someone I've contemplated reading for several years. It is actually only on the lovely Cooking Shelves of the Harvard Bookstore that I have seen her work. The only book of hers I'd ever seen there was Consider the Oyster - a slim, grey edition that eludes to silk and shells. I've thought about buying that book so many times but never made the move. It is true that the final push I needed came from the comparisons between Hesser and Fisher in reviews on the back of Hesser's book (I like links and connections between what I intake - it makes me feel like I am growing a database, becoming knowledgeable about a specific topic, and am part of a network of beautiful, amazing people even though I only get to know them through their writing).
This time, the Harvard Bookstore had a couple more of MFK Fisher's books, and they were beautifully designed so that each cover featured a gorgeous black and white photo of her (mid-century, a large draw for me) against a bark cloth-esque background in different shades of warm oranges, yellows, and soft reds (these editions by North Point Press). In short, I fell in love instantly, and I brought home The Gastronomical Me. In researching her online, I've become fascinated by her life and want to collect and read each neatly designed book.
Her essays take small moments and elaborate beautifully. Movies are painted by her simple sentences. She, as a writer, is quite special. Food writing is special in its taking of a basic human comfort and letting the reader relish in it in a new way.
I think I just love reading about women who were - and are - passionate about life, travel, nature, love, people, animals, art, and art as career. It makes me feel more passionately and eager about my own projects, my own dreams of more travel, and of other things. A sense of hope. A sense of security in knowing that there are people who feel deeply, take pleasure in small things, and dream largely. 
Happy New Year to all of you! xo