I visited artist Amy Deal in her Front Street studio. This large building and two adjacent buildings are filled with artists.
Walking into Amy’s studio you find yourself in a small entranceway. It has window openings showing the studio and a very short doorway with steps leading down into the studio.
I was impressed with how organized the studio was. There was lots of storage space for all of the material Amy needs to create her art.
As I learned more about Amy, and her business success and history of community leadership, the layout of the studio made sense. Amy is an organized person who gets things done.
Amy’s art starts with her collection of paper. She has all types of papers, old maps, magazines and books. This stack of books is organized by subject. I saw books of poetry, math books, biology books and all kinds of travel books.
The paper is cut into all kinds of shapes. Many are cut in the form of letters. As much as possible, Amy matches the general subject matter of the paper and the subject matter of the paintings she creates.
Amy put these paper pieces onto a canvas and then starts painting. Some of the paper is removed, leaving an outline of its shape. Other paper remains in the finished piece.
Amy typically paints from photos, even when the subject of the painting is within view as she paints. She likes to see how the camera has changed the three dimensional subject into a two dimensional image.
Some of Amy’s finished pieces are shown below. The first photo shows a group of paintings that were sold at the ARTtoBUY event at the Dayton Visual Arts Center. Below that is a photo of some of the larger paintings stored in Amy’s studio.
I told Amy how much I liked her work and she said she was happy with it and with the attention it has been receiving. “The biggest compliment I have ever received” she said “was this past year from my idol, John Emery. He told me that I have found my voice and that no one else has ever done what I am doing. It meant the world to me. John is an icon and I have great respect for him and his work.”
I noticed a long sheet of paper – actually many papers taped together – on the back wall of the studio. Amy explained that there was a competition to design a mural for the long concrete wall across the water from RiverScape MetroPark. She is a semi-finalist. Amy put this scale model of her initial mural proposal together to help her visualize how it would look to viewers.
Before leaving Amy’s studio, I got her to pose in front of some of her art.