In my college painting classes, my painting prof used to always say that knew I was in class because he could literally hear me painting. You see, I have a tendency to dig my brushes into the surface of the canvas, a sensation and sound I quite enjoy ( though it’s pretty tough on expensive brushes! ). The work of Florida artist Amy Donaldson has that same kind of textural energy, I can almost hear the scrape of her brush and palette knife against the canvas.
Donaldson’s process is one of an additive and subtractive back and forth between the palette, paint, and canvas. Inspired by her ( and my! ) native state of Florida, Donaldson creates abstracts that hint at the broadness of a landscape, yet have the surface of an aged, graffiti covered wall.
In expressive abstract quality of her work, Amy’s paintings let us get lost in the play of color, light, and texture, each bouncing our eyes in excitement across the canvases.
Hanging with Norah, Natalie, and Louis, it’s what I needed after a crescendoing year with Art Basel as the finale! I’m enjoying a bowl of my first homemade chicken noodle soup. Not bad! A week off from painting and I’m missing it. Inspiration has been building, thoughts of the exciting new year bubble. As I rest in my leather chair, I notice it’s still crisp and new after a year, I can’t sit for long, with new blank canvases to butter with oil paint, I’m fresh and ready to get back into the studio!
Art Basel is one of the most prestigious art shows in the Americas. Artist and collectors from all over the world come to Miami for four colorful days. I was honored to showcase my artwork in two galleries. Anthony Liggins Gallery in South Beach, and Art Fusion Galleries in the Miami Wynwood Art District. Miami was full of energy. It was exciting to be a part of both galleries during such an epic modern art event. My new collection vibrantly hung on the expansive white walls like candy and full of life. I enjoyed meeting art lovers, collectors and artist. It was a great success and unforgettable experience.[scrollGallery id=2]
Such a sweet breeze breathes in and out through my mosquito net in the quiet night. A few distant crickets are singing under the stars. A love much bigger than ours is in the air. Thousands of stars twinkle across the sky and I wonder where she is sleeping.
Her smile infected my whole body as she reach her arms up to me. With no reservations or fear of rejection, she was longed to be held. With no hesitations I scooped her up and hugged her tight. She didn’t let go. Her legs clamped tight around my waist. I look at her skinny legs and notice a 3 inch scar on her left knee. My heart breaks. Tears filled my eyes and a smile I couldn’t hide. This was pure raw love. My heart expanded as I pulled her tighter to me. She was wearing a black dress with white embroidery. Dusty and dirty I straightened her dress out, she looked up at me with her beautiful brown eyes and pulled my shirt up too. It had been pulled down from her belt of legs around me. I held her tighter.
I looked her in the eyes and said “Ou bel”, (you’re beautiful). She smiled and shyly responded “Mesí” and then rested her head in my neck. A soccer ball went flying by and white dust from the kicked up dry land was everywhere. I look around and beautiful eager smiles were given like little gifts. How do they keep smiling in such conditions. No mother or father, my heart breaks.
Fighting back my tears I kissed her on her soft cheek. “Ou bel”. I whispered again.
I noticed her little white teeth , unstained by American soft drinks. She never stopped smiling.
“Ela. Ela.” she says in her soft voice and points to a weathered pink wall with flowers and a rainbow painted on it. I walked closer and she touched the flower, looked at me and said ” Felizze”.
“Felizzzze…” Her accent was like a beautiful instrument I had never heard before.
” Rouggggge” she touched the first band on the rainbow,
“Velaaaa,” and continued to list all the colors. Wow! A precious young child is teaching me something new. We walked along the inner painted walls, she pointed and said many words. Trying to remember them all, I longed to show her so much more. These colorful painted walls brought joy to her. A butterfly, a dragonfly. She had no idea that I could paint her a whole garden full of birds, flowers, and animals for her to enjoy. I wanted to.
As she finished giving me a tour, I set her back down in the shade-arms reach back up at me. I picked her back up. Her legs fastened to me like a seat belt. She wasn’t going to let go. I kissed her warm cheek again. It was what I’ve been searching for, to feel love and give love with no reservations or expectations. Gods love poured on top of us like sweet syrup from heaven. I didn’t want to let go either.
Boys continued running around us kicking a soccer ball and occasionally throwing it into an old hoop that had lost its net a long time ago. She knew nothing about me, and I wondered-where she sleeps? What happened to her parents? Does she remember them? What does she eat? Who takes care of her? Does she have a teacher? So many unanswered questions. I held her tight. In that moment I was complete, nowhere else I’d rather be but giving this beautiful smiling girl a piece of my heart.
Lily was ready for a change to her room. She suggested a few colors and away I went with a custom mural. Adding handmade colorful leaves, I attached them to make the mural come alive. Whites, and a pop of hot pink and fur, brought this dark bedroom to life. I had a great time designing this. It’s retro, fun and unique!
Today is a new fresh day. I am ready to dive into my powdery pigments. They are like colorful candy to my eyes. I love to mix new colors on the canvas with my fingers and work the texture layer upon layer, like a cake. Each layer chisels the stress and frustrations of life away from my heart. I think about my family and friends and those who are in difficult times.
I will then finish the piece with energetic bounces of color that dance though the painting representing laughter and joy. With each painting I want to bring life and love to hurting hearts and struggling souls.