In Her Own Words – Artist Amanda Roberson
Meet Amanda Roberson, a delightful friend, talented portraiture artist and busy mom, living in Montgomery, AL. Labeled as “one to watch” by Montgomery Living magazine, Amanda’s art is proving watching is only part of the fun! Her unique spin on portraits takes her all over the South (look for her to be in the St. Simons, Sea Island, Savannah area this spring) and allows her customers to join in the creative process. She takes your favorite pictures of people, buildings and animals and turns them into works of art, preserving the memories in a one-of-a-kind way.
Painting mostly in watercolor, acrylic and gouache, Amanda loves to experiment in new techniques and mediums. Her artistic goal is to capture the beauty of God’s creation in the world all around us. I recently spoke with Amanda and asked her to share, in her own words, more about her life, art and inspiration…
“Meeting Brother” Commissioned Watercolor 2014
I cannot remember a time when art wasn’t a major part of my life. I have long said that art chose me, instead of the other way around. I had a childhood friend whose family lived in the house behind mine. We both had a passion for art. We would sit and draw for hours together, critiquing each other’s little masterpieces. As we grew, our love of art grew as well and we are both now working artists.
When it came time to pick a college major at Auburn University I went with Interior Design. I knew I loved art and pattern, as well as designing and creating a unique environment for people. I worked in my chosen field until 2006 when I decided to give up the corporate world and pursue motherhood. Motherhood was an amazing blessing to me, but I missed my creative quests. I started to paint on scrap pieces of wood we had around the house. I gave them away as gifts to friends and family for birthdays, baby showers and just because. Pretty soon people started to ask for these paintings and the rest is history.
I largely consider myself to be a watercolor artist, although I did not start out in watercolor. As a trained Interior Designer I was taught to work with art markers. I used these same art markers to create my first sketch portraits (portraits painted from the back or without a face). Most people assumed the drawings were watercolor. One day I picked up some watercolor paints to try out and I was hooked. Watercolor and drawing are closely related and coming from a drawing background I found the watercolor look to be the perfect match to the appearance I was trying to achieve. I also work on acrylic, charcoal and gouache on occasion.
I am often asked what piece of advice I would give to someone who wants to “quit their day job” and become a full time working artist. My suggestion would be to start a blog! Social media is a great resource for an artist. I ship paintings all over the country from people who have seen my work on Facebook, Instagram or my website. Don’t be afraid to post your work on the internet. It is a great way to gain lots of exposure for minimal cost and effort. Also, paint every day. Honing and refining the craft comes from practice, practice, practice.
I consider myself to be a people person. I appreciate getting to work with my customers, being involved in their families and their lives to create something that will take them back to a specific memory in the future and make them smile. I am greatly inspired by social connections; human relationships through family, friends and supernatural connections are all common subjects of my work. I once did a painting for a customer of her family playing on the beach; she told me she wanted a painting of her family “in their moment”. I love that idea.
“Our First Home” Commissioned Watercolor 2014
When I am not painting, or running carpool, I enjoy traveling to new places with my husband. Every year we make a point to spend a few days in a place we haven’t visited before. We like being adventurous and trying new things additionally learning more about ourselves and the world around us. As well, I enjoy sewing, running and reading.
Amanda and her daughter Claire with Mrs. Dianne Bentley, First Lady of Alabama, at the Family Sunshine Benefit where Mrs. Bentley received Amanda’s award winning painted birdhouse as a sign of appreciation for her involvement in their fund raising campaign.
Whitney Wise Long, co-founder of The Southern C, The Southern C Summit and contributing editor for Southern Living, loves to connect with Southern entrepreneurs and creatives and learn more about their ongoing endeavors. This series – “In Her Own Words” – offers her the perfect opportunity to do so!