AMANDA COLEMAN

Profile | Statement | Biography


 

Amanda Coleman • Profile

 

Amanda Coleman

Coleman prefers the fast-drying properties of acrylic paint and the lightweight quality of stretched canvas.  She maintains fluidity with plenty of medium so that it may flow and drip in an organic manner, be scraped with large putty knives, and behave in ways that are unpredictable. She describes this method of working as both exciting and scary: the fast drying time of acrylic paint lends itself to this layered style of working, and causes her to make decisions in the moment.

Coleman’s paintings make an initial impression with an overall sense of color and light. When looked at closely, the viewer can see that the work is built from the organic nature of paint --drips, accidents-- juxtaposed with the creation of form and plasticity.

Reminiscent of aerial views of maps, her abstract pieces focus on bold colors, large shapes, and layering. She begins with a loose idea of composition and color palette, developing each piece as she responds to the layers and decides what to emphasize.

Her figurative work draws the viewer in through the emotion and humanity of the sitter. She begins with a direction for each piece, allowing for it to be altered as the painting progresses to preserve freshness and fluidity. She focuses on the sitter, painting loosely in certain areas, and more carefully in others like the eyes.  The work is cropped in to highlight the emotion of each sitter, and the background serves to strengthen the portrait rather than detracting from it.

Amanda Coleman earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from University of Michigan, and her Associate of Arts Degree in Graphic Design from Seattle Central Community College. She currently lives and works in West Michigan.


 

Amanda Coleman • Statement

My work balances the fluid, organic, and unexpected properties of paint with definitive shapes, marks, and structure in each composition. I paint responsively: the textures and marks in a painting's current state inform what happens next in the evolution of that painting. This responsivity results in a layering effect that is built up through texture, transparency, and chance.

My work spans both figurative and abstract subject matter. Below you will find a description of three different series.

In Thought Series

This series of figurative works explore portraits and groups of individuals "lost in thought." The expression "lost in thought" takes on new resonance in a world where constant movement and instantaneous communication do not seem to allow focus, reflection, or thought. Instead, a digital landscape speeds up and kills time through constant updates, new information, and the consumption of media.

The paintings in this series are my reflection, then, on letting oneself have the time to think-about good things and dark things, and letting oneself be uncomfortable in quietness. I don't want habits of technology consumption to help, as Jake Knapp, a software engineer at Google says, "make our lives disappear faster than they already do." These paintings are my meditation on being lost in thought and trying to slow down time a bit: They are the anti-instant, the anti-selfie.

Maps Series

These paintings are inspired by city spaces and, more specifically, a consideration of how we navigate and experience urban planning and roadways. For a long time, I was painting from the viewpoint of someone in the middle of this urban environment, and I used the environment as a place to explore layering texture and color. As this vein of work pushed more and more abstract, I realized that it might be interesting to change my vantage point and look at the urban spaces from above, to see urban planning as a design-both aesthetic and navigational.

Using aerial shots of cities that I've been painting, I've begun to explore these cities with a fresh perspective. Playing with the ideas of density and sparseness, as well as how our roadways inform geography and urban spaces, I attempt to find a concurrent language for this perspective in paint. The direction of this work begins in a specific location, but ends in an expression of color, transparency, texture, layering, and revision.

Remnants Series

This series is phenomenological - it distills my experience of places.
I attempt to convey the whole feeling of a place by capturing the felt rhythm of light, form, and time. I reconstruct my experience of place by composing blocks of color, transparencies, and texture. I embrace the physicality of the paint, just as I would embrace the physicality of the place. I see shifting planes and fresh geometries.

Each piece in this series finds balance through a process of revision and remembering, allowing the salient features of a place to organically emerge. No rules govern experience or memory; thus, these pieces focus on the feeling of color.

I want viewers to feel my experience of place through color.


 

Amanda Coleman • Biography

EDUCATION

2008   
Associate of Arts in Graphic Design, Seattle Central Community College

2004   
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting, University of Michigan, Graduated Summa Cum Laude

SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2016
"Toast", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

"Everyone in the Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

"Collective Alchemy", LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2015
 "Everyone in The Pool", LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, MI

“Lookie Here”, LaFontsee Galleries, Grand Rapids, MI

2014   
“Paintings”, Patricia Cameron Gallery, Seattle, WA

2013  
“Drawings by Bo Culpepper, Paintings by Amanda Coleman”, Patricia Cameron Gallery, Seattle, WA

“West Michigan Area Show”, Kalamazoo Art Institute, Kalamazoo, MI

2012   
“Autumn Review”, Patricia Cameron Gallery, Seattle, WA

“Affordable Art Fair Seattle”, Patricia Cameron Gallery, Seattle, WA

2011    
“Expressions”, Patricia Cameron Gallery, Seattle, WA

2008   
“Time, Being”, Patricia Cameron Gallery, Seattle, WA

2007   
“City Views”, Larson Gallery, Yakima, WA

“Art Now Fair”, Miami, FL

2006   
“Look Both Ways”, Patricia Cameron Gallery, Seattle, WA

2004   
Work Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI

Kerrytown Concert House, Ann Arbor, MI

Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Birmingham, MI

2003   
Work Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI

2002   
Work Gallery, Ann Arbor, MI

HONORS & AWARDS

2014         
Grand Prize for “Chris and Karen”, 2014 West Michigan Area Show

2004         
Guy Pallazola Memorial Award

2000-04  
Shipman Scholarship for the top ten incoming freshman at the University of Michigan
University Honors
Dean's List

2002-03   
James B. Angell Scholar

2001         
William J. Branstrom Freshman Prize

COLLECTIONS

Starbucks, Corporate

Boston, Private Collection

Minneapolis, Private Collection

Milwaukee, Private Collection

Seattle, Private Collection

Washington DC, Private Collection

PUBLICATIONS

2008   
Art Ltd. Magazine

2007   
On Magazine

2004   
Art Showcase Magazine

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2011          
Art Director, Modea, Blacksburg, VA

2008-10   
Graphic Designer & Conceptual Artist, Modea, Blacksburg, VA

2007         
Graphic Intern, Windermere Services, Seattle, WA

2005-08    
Graphic Artist, Milan Heger Design, Seattle, WA

2004-08   
Graphic Artist, Patricia Cameron Gallery, Seattle, WA

Gallery Assistant, Patricia Cameron Gallery, Seattle, WA

2004         
Gallery Assistant, Copper Frog Gallery, Minocqua, WI

2003-04   
Artist Apprenticeship with Elaine Wilson, Ann Arbor, MI

1998          
Gallery Assistant, Parkside Gallery, Minocqua, WI