About Amanda – one of the WanderArtists
“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous… leading to the most amazing view…” ~ Edward Abbey
I am moved to create/recreate the things I see because they stir my soul… Studying my subjects intently, and in a way living inside of them during the creative process, brings a deep joy to me. Magritte once said, “what matters in art is to express charm… I live in a very disagreeable world, and my work is meant as a counter-offensive.” Over time I have come to cherish moments of clarity and wonder – most often experienced in wilderness and spurred by sights and events outside my own mind and control… A sudden gust of wind causing a flock of blackbirds to take flight… The wild dignity of desert bighorn sheep… The gaze of an owl… These experiences I seek through my travels and strive to portray that stimulating energy in my prints and drawings.
I was born an artist… Alongside another artist, my twin brother. We came into the world Nebraskans, by the time we were 8 we had lived in 8 homes and 5 states. My father worked for Associated Press and my parents both enjoyed trying new places, including Tokyo, Japan for my final year of high school. In Tokyo, my artistic tendencies were fostered to new heights and I happily went home to California to focus on an art major.
My curiosity and creative drive have led me to explore many art media: tapestry weaving, clay & wood sculpting, lost wax casting, painting, computer illustration, graphic design, earth/environmental art, photography, drawing, and printmaking. I have used pro (Nikon) cameras since I was 3 years old. My dad always had AP cameras available – the first rule being to always put the strap around your neck! I was on the school newspaper and yearbook in jr. high and high school – developing the photographs in our home darkroom myself. Presently I use photography in my work – for inspiration, ideas for drawings and prints, in my blog wanderartist.com, and for photo-etching.
My primary focus currently is to create a series of woodblock prints from my drawings and photographs. The portfolio is focusing on our National Parks. I have been an art teacher for youth groups, adults and private citizens for many years. I enjoy teaching drawing, crafts, and especially woodblock printing to children and adults.
Travel with my family has helped to foster a love of change and exploration. These days I am traveling full time – mostly exploring parks. My love and appreciation of the National Parks started with long trips in a VW bus with my two siblings and parents. Over the last 20 years I have wandered further and found researching and learning about the history and unique gifts of the parks helps to inform my art and illuminate my woodblock printing and drawing. I glean much of my subject matter and inspiration from long hours spent in our National Parks.
Inspirations also include my pioneer ancestors – who traveled long distances to carve out their lives in bold ways. I am motivated by thoughts of my Algonquin Grandfather, who gave his life in WWII in the rescue attempt of a fellow Navy flier… By my parents who overcame difficult upbringings to become fully realized artists and human beings. My hope is to push my artwork and myself beyond my comfort level to inspire others to protect our National Parks and to nurture their own creative tendencies at once.
Moments that shaped me include: diving in Japan with the Sea Eagle team of military & Japanese divers in search of my grandfather’s remains, riding a horse on dirt roads for hours alone in Nebraska, exploring remote Horseshoe Canyon and Grand Gulch in search of ancient rock art & ruins, climbing high peaks while leading children to new adventures, running half marathons to benefit a charity in which I believe, wandering the streets of Tokyo and San Francisco alone…