My name is Amanda Zappler. I began painting when I was 3 years old to illustrate simple stories I was writing to entertain my family and friends. Art is my key to the secret garden, my way down the rabbit hole, my looking glass.
I use art as a means of self-expression – I paint to identify with hidden qualities of my character, to better understand my reality, and to express my interpretation of the world around me. My goal is to use my paintbrush like Alice’s rabbit hole, to open an unexplored world, a place of curious self-expression, but also a world of new relationships, new chances, new beginnings, and most importantly new stories.
I attended a visual arts and performance art high school in Chicago where I was fortunate enough to have two very instrumental teachers who made certain I had access to adequate stimulation and supplies to continue with my creative growth. I escaped some of the turbulence of being a very angst ridden teenager through my art.
Outside of my visual arts training in high school I have been self-taught. That is, unless you count the endless hours I spent at the Art Institute in Chicago gazing at the masterpieces on the walls, rather than attending my academic classes! I like to think that I absorbed some of the lessons in this craft by being in that awesome museum for countless hours. During high school, the only classes I really paid any attention in were art and theater. I simply wasn't interested in anything else.
After high school, my visual arts passions took a back seat to working, raising two spectacular daughters and putting myself through school in order to achieve a doctorate in the allied health profession of audiology. For the past 10 years I have been able to recapture my passion for the arts and rekindle my interest in painting and illustration. It is like riding a bike, once you learn you can never forget!
I'm never far from a sketchbook or scrap paper, so I am constantly drawing, or thinking about drawing. Sometimes the drawings are left in the sketchbook, the bottom of my purse or backpack, or remain in my imagination, and other times they develop into more in-depth ideas and detailed images winding up as paintings. I primarily use gouache, pen, chalk and acrylics on a variety of surfaces. I love the bright colors and rich textures that occur when mediums are combined.
I hope my art conveys a sense of hopefulness and joy. I experience so much pleasure from painting that it is my desire to pass a bit of this along to the viewer. If a piece of my art work can bring a smile to someone as they pass by, then I have been successful!
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