is an American artist, born and raised in rural Kansas but has been living in Brooklyn for nineteen years. Amanda's background in web and print design, combined with her Cherokee heritage influenced her geometric, fluid abstract paintings and sculptures; incorporating light bulbs, light boxes and illuminated holes in wood and plastic. Her series of self expressive and vulnerable self portraits portray a superficial beauty at first glance while subtly revealing the emotional depth of her personal battles ,as well as, her sources of strength and survival.
Japanese and Chinese influences are becoming more evident in her recent watercolor and oil paintings on silk and fabric, working with calligraphy brushes and materials from China.
Amanda attended the University of Tulsa, graduating with a BFA, concentrating on graphic design, and developing a good relationship with her design professor and mentor, Teresa Valero. She began a successful career as a graphic designer at Littlefield Advertising Agency and as a web designer at Williams Communications Group in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she won an ADDY Award for a Phillips 66 Petroleum website. This lead to an opportunity in Bergamo, Italy at Media Artists Inc.
After Italy, she moved to New York City, continuing her career as a web designer. Leaving the corporate world, motherhood brought Amanda back to her passion for fine art. Her sons, Jacob and Dalton, and her art, became her focus while occupying a studio in the Navy Yard in Brooklyn where she was able to paint large scale works on new materials: 3-4 feet plastic cubes, antique deer head molds and light boxes.
Following the death of her mother and divorce, Amanda created an introspective series of self-portraits as well as portraits of her children and LGBTQ friends.
"It was a dark time, I had to paint through those feelings of lose so I could find the strength to get back on the horse. When I was a child, I was bucked off of a horse on my family's farm. Crying, bleeding and sinking in the mud, my cousin, Amy, said, stop crying and get back on the horse. That's the mentality. That's why I am a fighter"
Amanda is now focused on her boys, her art, teaching art, and preparing for the Fall semester at Pratt Institute. A dream for many years, Amanda is finally pursuing an MFA in Painting and Drawing.
"God has blessed me with this amazing gift and opportunity at the right time. I needed to evolve, go through some hell and find my way back to God, the source of my strength. It gave me a stronger voice as an artist. I have surrendered to painting not only what I envision but my soul, raw and naked."
oil on canvas, age seven
Amanda started drawing as early as four years old and painting with oil by seven thanks to a supportive mom and grandparents. She remembers trying to draw a proper portrait of her Mimi at her kitchen table with a color photo and sitting on her Pop's lap in church drawing on the back of the offering envelopes. Her mother, Pam, who was a talented singer, enrolled her in art and ballet lessons and she remained passionate about both throughout childhood and the teen years.