Hi, and welcome to my painting blog. I have a web site, amymann.com, but I haven't been able to post anything new I've done in the past four years. So while I am learning how to work on my own web site, I've decided to create and maintain a web log/journal of my adventures in painting. I'll post new paintings as I do them, and I invite your comments. Sometimes I'll post them unfinished, fresh from the easel, or even in progress. I'll show you the flops as well as the successes. I'll share my thoughts on the paintings if they're worth sharing. And again, I invite comments. Thanks for visiting, and check back often for updates.
Clicking on a painting will give you a larger image.
Why Plein-Air painting?
There is a lot to deal with when I paint outdoors. The light constantly changes, as clouds cover the sun or the sun moves across the sky. The wind blows my easel over, the sun burns, the insects bite, the tide rises and falls, the boats come and go, my brushes fall in the water. It's cold, it's hot, it's raining, it's foggy, it's CHANGING. But for the past eight years, I have continued to use landscape as my primary subject. It is the hardest and most rewarding, the most exhausting and the most exhilarating, the scariest and the most fun. Taking into account and reacting to the changing light and conditions makes each painting a fresh and spontaneous event.
I cannot arrange the landscape as I can a still life. I can't control the light or the weather. So what I focus on is the challenge and joy of translating the three-dimensional world onto the two-dimensional picture plane. I choose the little corner of the world to depict. I interpret light falling on objects through the abstract medium of paint. I figure out how to mix that color. I work with the language of brush stroke. I try to hold on to whatever first attracted me to that subject, or I change the painting as I go because something more compelling comes up. I try to show what it felt like to be in that spot for a time and paint that picture.
Working to get a clear statement out of all the "noise" and distraction that is landscape painting is like training yourself to speak clearly by talking with a mouth full of rocks. Clarity of vision is my goal, and trying to get there is never boring. I generally don't work from photographs, because then I would miss all the fun!
I went to Philadelphia College of Art and earned a bachelor's degree in painting. In 1999 I founded the Centreville Regional Art Guild, and was its president from 1999-2002. I’m a registered Copyist at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. I’m a plein-air landscape painter, and have studied in New Brunswick, Canada with painter Sharon Yates. I have also studied with painter Janet Fish.