Amanda Grafe is a self-taught artist living in New England. In 2016 she participated in the “Abstract/Avant Guard Open Juried Show” at the Wickford Art Association. In 2017 she exhibited her new work at a solo show at The Wurks in Providence, RI and in “All Women” Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery for which she received special recognition. In 2018, she won first place in the Warren Arts Festival for graphics. Other shows include: “Animals,” Colors of Humanity Art Gallery, 2016 and “Wet,” Gallery Seven, Maynard, MA, 2017, and Scituate Arts Festival, 2019.
My work consists primarily of oils. My relationship with oil paint started off rocky, but it quickly became my favorite medium where subtle blending and sharp contrasts could bring to life the faces of animals. Faces, especially eyes, are, however cliché, windows into the soul. Faces help us connect with one another, display empathy, and share experiences.
Yet, sometimes, I crave something different. Abstracts allow for rules to be bent in ways that other art forms do not. Sticking mainly with oils, but occasionally incorporating other mediums, it gave me a chance to explore selfishly, mend emotionally, deconstruct enigmas and fight against both societal and personal constructs I felt did not serve humanity. Generally, I prefer not to title my work. I believe that in some cases though titles are useful, they can confine the mind of a viewer and instruct them on what they should be noticing, not what they actually see or feel.
What’s most important to me? Canvas and paint are meaningless if they are not being viewed and interpreted. The interaction I have with people who take and interest in my work, and even those who don’t, is a priceless encounter that I would not have been afforded had I not put brush to board. What is the purpose art if not in some way to connect us all? It is a conduit of knowledge, a snapshot of aesthetic beauty, a revelation of atrocities, and a keeper of history – but more so, it is one of the things that unites those willing to look, finds those that have been lost, and allows the soul to be free through boundless interpretation.
Abstract invites the mind and the body to take a journey of undisclosed destination. Colors may spark emotion, shapes may trigger memories, and composition may serve as the setting for an unraveling plot. Though I do enjoy the technical aspects of art and painting animals, sometimes it is more suitable to share with viewers that which allows them to find some relief, some pain, joy, anger – something that lets them know that they are alive.