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About Amy Brown
I started painting Faeries in 1992. I'd always been interested in them, but had never considered them to be a career option, until one day when I was not quite twenty-one and working in a small art gallery. My boss asked me to paint something to fill an empty frame that had been sitting around. I asked her what I should paint and she said "I don't know, paint a Faery or something." So I did. Three days later, the piece sold. So I painted another. It sold. And I painted another. It sold too. You get the picture. I began painting Faeries whenever I had spare time. Rapidly I became more and more drawn to painting them. They demanded it. The years shoved their way past me and I kept my head down; painting, painting, painting and not paying much attention to the rest of the world unless I absolutely had to. It was like the Faeries had taken control of me and were pushing me to paint their portraits and perhaps to let the world know they are watching.
After selling prints and originals at street fairs and in local shops for a few years, I opened a website and began selling my work online worldwide. Business seemed to take on a life of its own and has evolved naturally ever since. It's been over twenty years now, more than 2000 paintings, and dozens of licensed products and I'm still trailing behind helplessly as the Faeries drag me on in a seemingly endless rampage.
My passion to paint is like a living creature inside me. All the ideas in my head churn and beg to get out. I'm driven to get them onto paper and out of my head as soon as possible. The characters move and speak in my mind. Snippets of stories flit through my mind while the paint dries. The quicker I can push their essence into the paper with my brush and banish them from my head, the better. Once I've conjured one creature, another is waiting impatiently for its turn.
Gradually the Faeries have evolved in meaning for me... something more than the typical definition of Faeries being winged girls flitting around in the woods or at the bottom of the garden. They are often wise, majestic and beautiful. Sometimes they are terrible and cruel. They embody grace, mystery, wonder and miracles as well as despair, trickery and desire. Wings can be a symbol of freedom, enlightenment and spiritual growth; or power and strength. Horns and antlers hint at ageless wisdom and grace in some Fae and malice and cunning in others. Feathers signify free spirits or a dark and mournful nature. In the Faery realm, all things become possible and not all is what it seems.
My goal in my work has always been to capture a moment and offer that moment to the viewer to weave his or her own story. I want each piece to whisper, taunt and tickle a reaction out of you.
My paintings always speak to me. What will they say to you?
Some commonly asked questions:
Where do you get your inspiration?
From everywhere, everything. Bits and pieces of ideas just pop into my head randomly and eventually they evolve into paintings.
What supplies do you use?
I primarily use watercolor and sometimes will accent my work with colored pencils, ink, gel pen, or anything else I find that will give me the effect I want. Here’s a list of my favorite supplies:
Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolors
Arches 300lb hot press bright white watercolor paper
Daniel Smith series 23 watercolor brushes
Pigma Micron pens
Faber-Castell PITT artist pens
Uni-ball Signo white gel pen
Prismacolor colored pencils
How do keep your watercolors from bleeding together when you paint?
I paint "wet on dry" which means I wait for each section or layer of paint to dry completely before I start on the next. This way the colors don’t run or bleed. If I want my colors to bleed and mix together, I paint "wet on wet".
How do you keep your watercolor paper from warping?
Normally watercolor artists "stretch" their paper before starting. This is a method involving taping your paper down and wetting it, then letting it dry. I am not that patient, so I buy very thick paper that resists warping.
Do you use models (real live people)?
No, I don't use models. In the past, I have used myself as a model a few times and tried using models from artist reference books I own. I feel those pieces don't have the same stylistic feel I usually strive for in my work, so I stopped using them several years ago.
As a new artist, how do you get your work out there?
When I got started as an artist, I worked in a small art gallery/gift store/picture framing shop that kindly gave me my own space to display and sell my work. I learned a lot about business while working there for over 7 years. Luckily, my boyfriend was interested in computer programming and he built me my first website, which helped me reach a larger audience. I also did some local street fairs and got my work into other local stores. My business grew gradually. It took several years. These days artists have a varied selection of social media options that I didn’t have when I started out. I encourage a new artist to play with different social medias to find which one works best for them. I can’t suggest one in particular, as I’ve asked around and every artist has a different favorite that works for them. Also, by the time I’m finished writing this 2 or 3 new options will have popped up.
Do you copyright all of your work?
YES. The best way to protect your work is to register each piece individually, however the costs in doing so are more than most artists can absorb. I now copyright groups of images to cut down on the costs.
What can artists do to protect their work?
Besides registering your art with the Library of Congress, I would also strongly recommend that when you post your work online each image has your name on it in a spot where it can not be easily removed. I like to place my name and/or website across the middle of the image in faded letters. I’ve also begun adding my copyright info to the bottom of my images. If viewers share your work around the internet without your name attached to the image, it can quickly become perceived as "anonymous" and easier for others to use without your permission.
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All images at this site are copyrighted and specific property of Amy Brown. Removal or reproduction in any form is infringement of the copyright law. © 2016