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AMY COLLINS

I have had a love for realistic drawing, and for telling stories with pictures, for as long as I can remember. This is one reason I became a medical illustrator (BFA, University of Virginia; MS in Medical Illustrations, Medical College of Georgia). As an illustrator my role was that of a communicator, clarifying scientific and medical concepts with clear and informative visuals. It required skills that laid the groundwork for my path as a representational artist - problem solving, design, creativity, tenacity.

In order to keep them fresh, many of my paintings and studies are done alla prima in a studio or outside en plein air. I focus on capturing the light and color shifts that occur at a certain moment in time. With this in mind, I try to convey energy and excitement with brushstrokes, and mark-making - putting them down and taking them off. This build-up and de-construction is becoming more instrumental in my painting process. I find it both challenging and exciting to make suggestions and not focus on detail. It adds to the mystery of the painting and, by encouraging a closer examination of the painting itself, I am asking more participation of the viewer.

Having been an illustrator for so many years, I realize there is still a story in my paintings. It is my story while I paint it, but once seen by someone else it becomes theirs. I paint what inspires me no matter the subject. It could be a person, a place, or a feeling. Painting from life, particularly outdoors, has been key to my growth as an artist. Certainly it has improved my observation skills and taught me to paint quickly, but there is a connection that happens as you make this visual record of a place. Often I have painted a scene or a structure that no longer exists due to neglect, or progress, or the effects of nature, only to find it resonating with a viewer for that very reason. The viewer reacts based on their experiences, their memories, their history, and ultimately this is what makes the art so personal.

Award of Distinction at the American Impressionist Society 21st National Juried Exhibition 2020