It might have come to your attention that lately I've been posting a lot more about art and creating more art. Art is my first love. As long as I can remember I've loved to draw and paint. Once when I was a toddler I was telling my mom, who was working in the kitchen, about a wonderful picture I was drawing. She kept saying, "That's great! Use lots of colors." Finally me asking her repeatedly to look she turned around and saw I'd been drawing on the wall, all the way down the hall, with her encouraging me at every stage!
My very first online shop, on eBay, was first focused on selling my artwork. That's why my eBay ID is still "ab_art". There weren't eBay stores in those days; you just made an ID and then you had to learn programming to list items. My paintings didn't sell on eBay, however. I was really excited when I was chosen to exhibit at CAM in Raleigh (the Contemporary Art Museum), but again I had no sales and no one from my family (besides my husband) or office even went to see my work! Family members returned pieces I gave them or put them out of sight in attics and closets. One person, to this day, requests I paint copies of other artists' pieces instead of my own.
I became really depressed and turned to selling kids' clothing and dolls. These things sold much better for me but except in the case of my art dolls they didn't fulfill my creative urge. Now that I've expanded to such a large chain of stores I have less and less time for the process of art.
Thankfully, my son and husband gave me a WACOM tablet and iPad and I found some digital art apps that let me create art very quickly, with no mess or drying time. The past month or so I've gone back to my old hobby, drawing and painting in the evening before bed. It relaxes me and helps me disconnect from work. And now there are wonderful sites that let consumers print my art on demand. On Redbubble and Le Galeriste you can create your own art prints, canvases, clothing, and even home goods using my artworks. I don't have to buy and store pieces for sale and I reach a much larger audience than in the past. I am loving it! You can shop from the Shop page. If you're here for the dolls, never fear; I still have them for sale in my other shops!
Here's my recent botanical watercolor series, available from Redbubble. One of the things I love most about the digital art programs is they help me improve in mediums I struggle with. In art school I was always terrible at watercolor painting and I never pursued it once I graduated and wasn't being forced into it. Watercolor is an unforgiving medium and I am by nature an oil and mixed media artist. I like building an image in layers, slowly. Watercolor requires extremely fast, precise painting and if you layer the paint you get a muddy mess. So it's really refreshing to use digital watercolor and avoid those issues.
My newest series, still in progress, is a pet series featuring cats and dogs. The pieces I've finished so far are available on Redbubble. I hope you'll check them out! Please bear with me if art isn't your thing. I'm sure I'll get obsessed with something else soon enough. I always do!
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My name is Amanda, but my childhood nickname was "Mandaline". I am a mother of three turning my passion for creating into a full-time business.