Amanda Norman is no stranger to Well + Wonder. As an artist who has been a part of the W+W family for over a year, her artwork continually brings us joy! Therefore, you can imagine our excitement when Amanda shared with us her latest series as well as her inspiration behind these new beauties. In this latest release, Amanda found that she was painting moments derived from those quiet, refreshing, and reflective breaths found in her daily life. A little play on a prayer, “Palm to Palm” draws upon the idea of feeling calm, connected, and at peace at the beach. While the series is “Fielding Questions” is more of a road trip meditation, paintings created from the conversation in her head when driving to see family in northwest Arkansas. Seeing how Amanda translates life to canvas had us itching to know more about her process…enjoy reading a bit more about this talented artist in Pardon Me, Amanda Norman!
What is currently on your nightstand?
A decorative stack of interior design books; reads by Anne Lamott, Becca Stevens and Joel Osteen; 2 half empty glasses of water (that’s actually a low count for my usual collection); and, a yellow dump truck.
Who is your biggest influence as an artist and why?
Father Time and Mother Nature. Patina, age, and a little natural wear and tear are the most beautiful things.
Tell us about your childhood. What is the most memorable moment as a young person?
Talking to God for the first time. I was about 5, I think. Without getting into the specifics, it was a moment that stuck with me where I truly felt connected. And, on a lighter note, spending hours in the creek with my sister, pretending we were Pippi Longstocking and putting on plays/making home videos. My stage name was Jennifer Capriati and my sister was Kristi Yamaguchi. Clearly, products of the 80s.
If you could only have one supply in your art studio, what would it be and why?
Heavy-bodied white gesso. That, or water. Both wear many hats in my studio.
What is your favorite room in your house?
My living room: comfortable, classic, just a touch of artsy interest and completely void of color—just how I like it.
What is your biggest score online?
I recently got a $14 throw for the couch off of Amazon. Although it smells like a gasoline can and is likely radioactive, it’s beautiful, cozy and makes me happy (maybe that’s the fumes talking though).
What is the benefit of buying art through a collective? What do you recommend for those that are new to buying original art?
I think the benefit of buying art through a collective is twofold: 1) browsing a curated collection that has already been hand-selected by someone whose taste and opinion you trust and 2) getting to know new artists through ones that you may already follow. I also think that being able to compare styles, mediums and price points is a bonus so that you really hone in on your own personal art tastes. If I have one piece of advice for buying original art, it’s BUY WHAT YOU LOVE. Don’t worry about matching your throw pillows or buying what’s trendy or buying what your friends just bought or what your MIL thinks looks best… but what YOU love and it will ALWAYS be in style.
If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?
Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, AR. If I’m being perfectly honest though, sure, the museum is really beautiful (the grounds are incredible!) and it has a really interesting and diverse collection; but, my main motivation is family. My siblings live there with their families and the thought of spending the day with my siblings, niece, and nephew exploring art together sounds like a ball.
What is your favorite hotel and what makes it special?
The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii. We spent summers there when I was little (I know, ridiculously lucky) and it’s like a second home.
If you were a lipstick color would you be red, pink, or clear and why?
Clear. And not sticky. Simple and comfortable.
I can never get on a plane without….
a huge bottle of water and one or two decor magazines.
How did you get into the world of art?
It’s both a complicated and very simple story. The Cliffs Notes version is that I always loved to create for as far back as I can remember. I gave my sister art lessons from a very young age (“If I hear the word ‘texture’ one more time!” —My sister, age 5). Two creative and incredibly supportive parents (“Follow your bliss!”). And the world’s most supportive family, friends, and community. I wouldn’t have made it this far without the support I’ve received along the way.
What do you do to relax?
Going on walks with my son Ward or having a glass of wine on a patio with friends.
When do you get the biggest surge of inspiration?
Listening to music, exploring nature, or browsing antique stores.
Prediction for the Color of 2017?
I’m ready for white to be the Pantone color of the year!
What is your idea of a date night? Dinner and a movie or dancing all night?
Definitely dinner and a movie. Or even just dinner. Nashville has so many great restaurants now; I’d rather the meal and company be the entertainment.
Tell us about your favorite painting that you have created.
There have been a few along the way, but my reason for liking them always has a similar theme. They all have been a study in having certain things carefully thought out and other things being left to chance. A mixture of the deliberate and the unexpected. To me, that element of leaving things a bit undone or finding the beauty in “mistakes” is what is most authentic (and the same goes for life).
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