Reaching people without contact | Living

Amanda Marlene is a local painter, art collector, massage therapist and mother of four. She is a transplant from Austin who moved to Huntsville 15 years ago to raise her family. When Marlene arrived in Huntsville, she taught baby massage and childbirth preparation classes at the Pregnancy Care Center and taught yoga at the public library.

“It was important to me to volunteer in places that directly benefit the community,” said Marlene.

She started her journey in the art world as a muse. She was a model in the art department at the University of Texas while pursuing her studies in literature. During the pandemic, she has come full circle, going from an object to inspire to a conductor.

She describes herself as a “foreign artist” as she has no formal training. Marlene became a painter both as a meditation practice and as an alternative way to heal herself and others. Beginning on her 44th birthday in 2020, she painted a new piece every day for 44 days. Marlene named this first series of paintings “Revolution 44”. Marlene chose Abstract Impressionism because modality is used to create an emotional effect, with the use of color as the primary expression of emotion.

“I started painting everything around me. Instead of buying new canvases, I bought old paintings from thrift stores. People started bringing me cabinet doors and wood slices. This gave each element a new meaning and purpose. It was all just for me. My older children left home to join the army. I was raising school-aged children during quarantine and co-parenting in survival mode,” Marlene said.

“Some days my art comes in spurts. It encompasses the radical acceptance of the body related to pregnancy, childbirth and the mess of life,” Marlene said. The way her own body changed made part of the thought process embodied in her work. Her children were growing up and her beloved grandmother, called Oma, was getting older. Marlene found inspiration in each stage of their lives and how they are intertwined with the his.

“I am a housewife. My painting process takes place between all the mundane tasks of life.

I can lay down a base color before feeding our pets Fritz and Oreo. Then have a swim while the kids get ready for school. I may find an hour or two some days between tending the garden and cooking dinner. It’s one of the ways I mark my days. Painting is the glue that holds me together,” Marlene said.

Her first 44 days of painting ended in September 2020. The Lucky Bat studio was hosting a fall exhibition, so she spoke to gallery owner Nancy McGilliard and was invited to show her work there. It was a liberating experience to show his art, but selling it was not so easy.

“When I got the call that my first painting had been sold, I was a bit heartbroken. I felt like I was being asked to sell one of my children,” Marlene said. , it was purchased by a local collector, so it remained within the community.The practice of abandoning works created during such a moving time became easier as his work gained recognition.

Marlene participated in an exhibition called “Chops and Drops” at Crazywood Gallery in March 2021, and Sipsy’s Coffee House hosted her part of the exhibition as an installation for the following year. His first solo show titled “Flow” was held at Lucky Bat in June 2021. Community response led to “Overflow” which included four small shows that were suspended simultaneously at local businesses around Huntsville. Last summer, she participated in two other group exhibitions at the Lucky Bat entitled “Sacred Psychedelics” and “Anything Goes”.

In addition to painting for herself, she created a unique practice during the pandemic to reach clients in a way that could tie her love of painting to her work in the healing arts.

“Because I couldn’t provide direct contact with my customers, I thought about how I could reach them in other ways,” Marlene said. She created a practice called EAMP (Expressive Art Movement Practice). During a series of eight sessions, she connected with her clients one-on-one via Facetime.

She asked them to set an intention, then spent 45 minutes training them to move, breathe and paint, each using identical materials and colors. They could see each other but not the art in progress. She would end the call after asking them to finish the job in the next 15 minutes, then photograph the result and exchange images via text. This practice was so satisfying that she plans to expand the offer again in the future.

Marlene currently has an installation called “Remnants from My Parents Home” at American Shaman CBD and Circle P Antiques in Navasota. Its next facility will be in the historic University Jail where the Buzzed Cup is currently building the CAT Cafe.

For more information on securing her art for purchase or exhibition, email Amanda Marlene at [email protected]

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