|A little about yourself, if you would like.
“Amanda’s connection to ‘America’s Best Idea’, our National Parks, has been of mutual benefit to both her and the parks: she gleans inspiration and subject matter from these special places, while inspiring visitors to become park advocates and foster their own creative endeavors…
Amanda brings the ancient art of woodblock printing to a new generation, where her relief prints of incredible flora and fauna and her educational interactions with visitors aids us with our important mission of promoting relevancy and stewardship into our next century of service and beyond. Amanda brings 30 years of experience as an artist, art teacher, and environmental educator…”
~ NPS introduction, Carlin Fenn, Padre Island National Seashore
I am driven to create/recreate the things I see because they stir my spirit… I seek a glimpse into the souls of our world, past and present, through my wanderings and I hope to effectively portray them in my drawings, prints and photographs. One of my goals is to express the flashes of wonder I experience in and from the natural world and human power sites such as ancient ruins – to convey the force of the wind, flora, fauna – and the underlying spirit that touches our hearts when we spend long hours in nature and in National Parks of all kinds. It is increasingly important to me to model Leave No Trace principles and to speak about my brand of stewardship of the National Parks through my work.
In my artwork I often depict human-made structures along with creatures from each area… Birds in flight and animals within the landscape introduce movement into images of buildings and natural features. I enjoy drawing for hours on end at ancient ruins such as Mesa Verde, Wupatki and Hovenweep, among so many others, and I am often visited by crows and ravens – coming near for a look… My natural curiosity and my meditation on design, balance, graphic force and the mystery of place combine in my artwork to draw in the viewer.
Through my public programs I hope to introduce people to the ancient art of woodblock printing and to talk about my unique style of Leave No Trace Art, as well as discuss stewardship of the National Parks through art. A priority will be to offer a woodblock printing demonstration and, given the opportunity, my lecture Find Your Park Through Art, which incorporates artwork and photography in a slideshow/talk about my art processes in National Parks and my experiences with Artist-in-Residence programs in six different parks from 2014 to 2017.
I have worn many hats in my life, presently focusing on my role as an educator and printmaker. I currently travel America’s landscape extensively and, as part of my Find Your Park Through Art campaign, I am creating a series of relief prints celebrating our National Parks. I have helped to inspire others to take up this campaign through a weekend with three artists at Bighorn Canyon NRA, an event with another artist at Agate Fossil Beds NP last October, and a residency at Petrified Forest NP in November. As one of the speakers for the 8th Annual Plein Air Festival in Zion NP I gave my talk, Find Your Park Through Art. In addition, as part of the Zion Canyon Field Institute educational offerings, I gave a relief printing workshop at Zion NP in November, 2016.
During 20-plus years I have traveled to an array of sites in search of petroglyphs, pictographs and dwelling places of the archaic to early modern day peoples. My curiosity has led me to Wupatki (including Crack-in-the-Rock Ruin,) Grand Gulch, Mesa Verde, Chaco, Canyon de Chelly, Casa Grande, Hovenweep, Petrified Forest, Keet Seel (overnight trip,) Betatakin, Bandelier, among others, and to petroglyph and pictograph sites too numerous to list, including the Great Gallery in Canyonlands on 3 separate visits! As a woman raised knowing that I have American Indian blood in my veins (my paternal grandmother was Algonquin) it has been a journey for me of discovery and love to learn about those who came before. My mother’s father sacrificed his life to save a fellow pilot during WWII, and my searching has brought me closer to understanding the man he might have become had he lived beyond age 23.
Have ART… Will Travel!