Interview with Mixed Media Artist Amanda Dolan
Amanda Dolan is one of those painters whose art is a true reflection of her personality. Dynamic, turbulent and indelibly pink, Amanda and her paintings have that special something that can brighten even the dullest of rooms.
TM: When did you start painting?
AD: Ever since I was a little girl I was always drawn to color. I wanted to wear vibrant colored clothes and surround myself with texture and light. Once I was presented with my first set of paint brushes I was ready to put the color inside of me onto the page. I won my first painting award in a children’s art show when I was only six years old.
TM: Your clothes are as pink as your paintings! How would you describe your sense of style?
AD: I would definitely call it “eclectic”. I really love to mix and match fabrics, textures, and colors together. I love to pair vintage with new couture. I love anything that glitters – sequins, rhinestone jewelry, baubles, etc. Anything hot pink, tight and stretchy catches my eye. And anything by Betsey Johnson is a must!
TM: Who are some of your favorite artists?
AD: I like to stretch the word ‘artist’ and include all artists in general – not just painters!
Jean-Michel Basquiat. The way he used text in his paintings was so ground-breaking and influential to me. He really made statements through his work. Not everybody liked and understood him but that’s what was so intriguing about him. He really was one of the firsts in his genre. He truly did not care what people thought, he just let the art come out of him, and I relate to that.
Courtney Love. Luckily, I’ve had the chance to meet her briefly; but I’d love to sit down with her and have a cup of tea and talk woman to woman. She has been my idol since I was eleven years old. She is such a powerful force. She taught me how to stand up and challenge the status-quo, to never, ever, be afraid of challenges, and to empower myself and get what I want. I think she gets a bad rap because she isn’t perfect. She’s fallen, made mistakes, taken wrong turns and people hate her and judge her for that. I, on the other hand, adore her for that. Her imperfections make her human and palpable. She is real and relatable.
Sylvia Plath. Her poetry is art in raw form. The way she strung words together with such razor sharp intensity is mind-blowing. She was the epitome of darkness, but feminine and lovely at the same time. I really appreciate the honesty inside of her. Her writing is timeless and drips of elegance.
TM: Your latest collection, “Call Me Crazy”, consists of a series of portraits of women deemed “crazy” in their day. Who do you think is the craziest of them all?
AD: Well, all the ladies were “crazy” in their own special ways – but personally, I think Joan Crawford was the “craziest of them all.” She was so elegant and classy, but underneath she was demented, looney, and ultra fierce. I think the two parts of her personality really blended together to make her iconic and noble, but they also made her completely insane and dramatic! No one would want to mess with her! Out of all the portraits I did, she was the hardest, and I’m still not convinced she’s finished. But then again, I think to myself, That really must have been what the real Crawford was like: impossible, mysterious, complicated, undone. So then I take solace in the fact that maybe she did really let me in her world for a bit, and I did actually capture her.
TM: So what’s next for you?
AD: Hopefully to have more shows, that way I can always inspire my viewers and make them feel something. I want to keep exploring the artistic abyss inside myself. I want to keep challenging myself in new ways. I know that if I keep pulling out emotions and transferring them onto canvas, more of the world will unfold in front of me!
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