The Avid Pen Interview

January 08, 2020

The Avid Pen Interview

I  had the honor to do an interview with Christa who created the most beautiful blog called The Avid Pen!  Click here to read the entire interview.

 

Inside the Dreamy Floral World of Amy Elizabeth Fine Art

I love introducing local artists, and today I’m sharing an inside look into the dreamy floral world of Amy Elizabeth Fine Art. The mom of three makes her home in the Queen City, and as the title of the post suggests, she creates dreamy floral paintings that have an otherworldly feel to them.

While several of the recent artists that I’ve shared on the blog have worked with either acrylics or watercolors, Amy prefers to work with oils and often frames her work in vintage frames she’s found at local antique shops. In addition to her floral pieces on canvas, Amy also paints her signature roses on ornaments that are perfect for adding to your tree this Christmas.

 

WHEN DID YOU FIRST BECOME INTEREST IN ART?

Elementary art class was my favorite, and it seemed like an eternity for Thursdays to come back around. It was my time to shine unlike in math or science and I learned right away that art class was where I felt the most confident and safe, accepted and even praised. I had a positive association with art from an early age and I know that’s why I paint today.

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR GREATEST SOURCE OF INSPIRATION?

Rococo or late Baroque art really appeals to me. Specifically, artist Francois Boucher with his soft color palette and romanticized scenes, blue skies, puffy clouds, naked baby angels, ladies in gowns, roses, all of it I love. I will never paint like the Masters, but their style and color pallet I draw great inspiration from.

OILS ARE YOUR PREFERRED MEDIUM FOR YOUR ARTWORK. IS THERE SOMETHING ABOUT OILS THAT LED TO THIS PREFERENCE?

Because I’m a self taught artist, oils felt like the obvious choice. In my untrained mind, I thought that if I could achieve working with oils, I could truly call myself an artist. After painting for a few years and meeting so many talented artists I now understand there’s a world of mediums out there that I need to discover.  Oils though, are rich and buttery and allow for texture. Tubes of color seem to last and last. My heart will always be loyal to oils because of how well they have treated me.

OUT OF ALL THE COLORS YOU WORK WITH, DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL FAVORITE… OR A FAVORITE COLOR PALETTE?

I am so drawn to pastels, like pinks and baby blues in almost every area of life. Home decor, clothing and yes even my art. I have to challenge myself to work with bolder colors and often times I’m surprised by how well these turn out and are received by my followers and clients.

THE SUBJECT MATTER OF YOUR WORK CENTERS AROUND FLORALS. WHEN DID YOUR LOVE FOR FLORALS BEGIN?

What’s interesting is, I don’t have one single rose bush in my yard. You would think I’d surround myself with bouquets and gardens. It’s more about the feeling roses and florals evoke within me. They’re dreamy and romantic, erotic and sensual. They’re temporary and fleeting just like this life on Earth. Painting my florals is a way to express the joys and sadness, excitement and disappointments that living brings.

BEFORE YOU STARTED PAINTING TWO YEARS AGO, DID YOU EVER IMAGINE THAT YOU WOULD BE WORKING AS AN ARTIST ONE DAY?

I’m still surprised when something sells, or someone shows interest in my art. Selling art was a goal I thought I would never achieve and honestly I just loved painting regardless. I did ruin many canvases, wasted tubes of paint and put in countless hours at the easel. Only to step back and still recognize that what I was painting wasn’t sellable. There’s a corner that has to be turned to have a unique enough hand and style to be sellable and that just takes time and a lot of practice. Today, I paint because I love it and can’t imagine not painting. However, selling my art is certainly wonderful and fulfilling.

I LOVE THE TOUCHES OF GOLD THAT YOU ADD TO SOME OF YOUR PAINTINGS, IS THIS OIL PAINT OR GOLD LEAF?

I use gold leaf and often apply it when the painting is still wet. The key with gold leaf is not being afraid to scratch it back off to give it more of a natural worn look. Otherwise it looks like you stuck foil on your painting. It’s important not to be scared to get in there, mess it up, put scratch marks through it, and take a lot of it back off. You never want to leave big pieces. I have also been using a lot of gold oil paint and love framing my pieces with it.

FOR SOME OF YOUR PIECES YOU FRAME THEM OUT IN VINTAGE GOLD FRAMES. WHERE DO YOU SOURCE YOUR FRAMES FROM?

This is something new I just started and I have been surprised by how well they’ve been received. I can’t seem to keep them in my shop. All the frames I find come from local antique shops and I absolutely love hunting for them. I look for frames with a lot of charm and character and many times I end up painting them and adding gold wax. It’s so fun giving these old forgotten treasures new life.

IN ADDITION TO PAINTING ON CANVAS, YOU ALSO CREATE HAND PAINTED ORNAMENTS. HOW DOES YOUR TECHNIQUE DIFFER WHEN PAINTING ON AN ORNAMENT VERSUS CANVAS?

I enjoy the chance to move away from a large canvas and work on a smaller surface. That’s why I create mini paintings that go in vintage frames and around the holidays on ornaments. Smaller pieces like these mean a smaller space for me to work and I’m forced to use a brush instead of a pallet knife like I prefer. The upside to creating these tiny pieces is that the reward and satisfaction of completing something comes much quicker. 

5% OF ALL SALES OF YOUR ARTWORK GOES TO MOSAIC FOR FOSTER CHILDREN. TELL ME A BIT ABOUT MOSAIC AND WHY YOU CHOSE TO DONATE TO THE ORGANIZATION.

I have a heart for children especially those in need. This organization is amazing. When a child first comes into the foster care program they are taken out of bad situations and very often leave with only the clothes they are wearing. Mosaic gives these children a chance to shop, pick out anything they want and it’s all brand new, it’s theirs. The thought of a child not having all they need is gut wrenching. Children can’t help the environment they are born into, they have no say over the difficult situations adults put them in. This is just a small way that I can contribute, by using my art to provide a token of security in their lives.