Doing a lot of research right now as I plan to include a dodo in a future painting. To clarify, this piece is by Roelant Savery and since it was painted in 1626, roughly 40 years before dodos were extinct, I think it should be fairly accurate. There are so many variations in the colors, the shape and size of the feathers, and even in the size of the dodo, and since there are no photographs, I’m combing over old illustrations that range from representational to cartoonish, photos of dried up remains, as well as images of parrots, pigeons, vultures, and chickens. It’s a bit of a daunting project, even though I normally paint realistic images of what isn’t real, I’ve at least seen these things in person to some extent. The challenge is not only to paint something I’ve never seen, but to bring it to life. I’m anxious and looking forward to the challenge at the same time.
I’m getting ready for 2018 and clearing out my previous postcards. I have a dozen designs available with previous exhibitions listed on the back (as seen on top right example). If you would like a complimentary set mailed to you, contact me with your address here: https://amyguidry.com/contact.html.
Prints of TheWild West will soon be available! This is only the second painting to be available in print form. This will be a limited edition run of 50 Giclées, hand signed and numbered, 11″ wide by 14″ high on acid-free, 100% cotton, archival 230 gsm paper, $50 each. The prints will be available next week, so if you want to be notified before they are announced online, contact me to get on the list: https://amyguidry.com/contact.html.
Working on a few paintings at the moment- this small painting is currently in progress. I’ll be revealing the finished piece in my upcoming newsletter next week. (Sign up here for the first look at the finished painting.) This tiny bunny wears a collar of roses atop a giant heart. The butterflies represent life- both are beautiful, fragile, and ephemeral. It is an acrylic on canvas, 4″ wide by 4″ high.
Sometimes I receive installation images from people after they’ve hung my work in their home. It’s always nice to see my work again and how it looks in its new space, plus if it’s been included in groupings of work by other artists, that’s always nice to see. So these are a few shots featuring paintings from my In Our Veins series and Beneath the Surface series.
This is a 30-second clip from my Artist Talk at LeMieux Galleries in New Orleans. No matter how many times I have to speak in public, it’s always terrifying. Which is why I often think that the things I don’t want to do, are probably the things that I should do. Side note: this Saturday (Sept. 24th) is the last day to catch this exhibit!
My painting Preservation is featured on the current cover of the Denver Quarterly. Aside from being on the cover, I’m also happy to have another opportunity to get the message out regarding animal and ecological welfare. The circle of leaves was an image that came to mind before falling asleep, and I made note of it in my sketchbook. Using the leaves to replace the head (which is in keeping with some recent paintings where I use landscapes or trees in place of heads), represents the connection of all life forms. Nature is so much a part of us that I freely use trees or landscapes in place of heads or limbs, just to emphasize that connection and significance.
The small lot of land the deer stands on is in reference to our dire need to conserve wild land and forests. The natural space is shrinking due to deforestation. All the more reason to plant trees and support organizations that preserve natural habitats.
In many of my paintings, I use the eyes and facial expressions of animals to convey a sense of connection and relatability, but lately I’ve been doing the opposite and feature animals without faces or covered faces. I’ve been exploring the idea of Anonymity vs. Connection- without seeing their faces, does that make them any less personable or meaningful? And how does this apply on a global scale?
Well, this is it. This is the last time Mother Nature will be on view to the public. It is currently on exhibit in the “Animus” exhibit in London, and afterwards will have its permanent home in London. This painting has been an important piece for me since it is the only painting I’ve done directly dealing with dairy:
Our use of animals and the environment has led to practices that could be considered a bizarre perversion of nature. From our everyday use to the most complex scientific discoveries, we have created a new world far removed from that of our original planet. Our food is no longer something we grow or find ourselves, but prepackaged, processed, and mass-produced. ‘Natural’ has become unnatural. We consider it eccentric or bohemian. We, as adults, drink what is essentially breast milk from an entirely different species, yet scoff at the idea of a woman breastfeeding her infant in public. In Mother Nature a calf is seen nursing from a human breast, calling to question our double standards- if this is bizarre, then why is it not when the roles are reversed?
I’m a vegan artist living in “Sportsman’s Paradise.” For those that don’t know, that would be Louisiana. Not exactly a pleasant state nickname if you are a vegan. Nevertheless, I’ve managed to live a vegan lifestyle here and have even made a niche for myself as an artist. And I actually like living here… though I could do without the humidity. So how is this possible, you may ask.
For starters, being a vegan, environmental artist is no harder than any other artist. Art is supposed to make a statement, and it’s not going to be something everyone necessarily agrees with. So the fact that my work is influenced by my personal beliefs, is not any different than any other artist creating work about what matters most to them. And galleries are choosy about what they show regardless, so again, it doesn’t matter if you’re a vegan artist or not.
Louisiana is known for it’s food, unfortunately none of that involves tofu. Yet. So, yes, that is bothersome for me, but it doesn’t stop me from living here. If anything, it just gives me more reason to keep doing what I do. Add to that the BP oil spill, hurricanes, and wetland loss, I have even more reason to be here and speak up for our animals and our environment.
I have met some resistance, but I don’t know any vegan that hasn’t, so I wouldn’t say that’s exclusive to Louisiana. Usually it comes from older family members that have no filter. A lot of people seem to be coming around, while others tolerate it but don’t understand it. I’ve been a vegan for 17 years now and have seen a definite shift in the mindset of the general population. For starters, most people now know how to correctly pronounce vegan and might know someone that is. A lot are open to at least trying vegan recipes. (Everyone loves my dinner parties!) And some are starting to become aware of the huge environmental impact that factory farming has on our planet.
Overall, I’ve had a very positive response to my art, both in and outside of Louisiana, which is promising for many reasons. I would love to see more vegans here, but I’m sure a lot of people would say the same about where they live, too. In the meantime, I’m going to keep doing what I do. With every painting, I have another opportunity to reach out to the world, and inspire them to do more for animals and the planet. And on that note, it’s time to get back to the studio.