Amanda Cameron is a contemporary Australian artist who feels a strong connection to the ocean. She paints various subjects including still life and landscape but is constantly drawn to the water theme. She explains “I am inspired by everything, almost everywhere I look – by nature, by materials, by people, buildings, even clouds. I often have an array of imagery, sketched, photographed and imagined that I say I will come back to when I have time, however I seem to always end up wanting to paint water and the human form interacting within it.”
Amanda has created an exclusive series of work for KAB Gallery which focus on clusters of swimmers and beachgoers enjoying the Australian surf. The title of this series is ‘Aqua’, as all of the work in this series relates to water, chronicling human interaction and interrelationships with it as the common theme.
These artworks are detailed and interesting. Each unique work is the type of artwork you can get up close to view and appreciate the detail, as well as standing back to enjoy the overall composition and alluring colour. The longer I view Amanda Cameron’s artwork the more detail and narratives emerge. Take a look at each person in the surf to see what they are doing, who are they connecting with, what are they looking at?
I asked Amanda about her inspiration for this series and she explained “I have always loved ‘people watching’, and am often watching the interactions between groups, pairs and even individuals. I am particularly interested in not only their interactions with each other, but also within nature. Living on the Gold Coast, water and the ‘beach lifestyle’ are an integral part of everyday life – we are surrounded by some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and almost all activities here are outdoors and take place in and around the ocean, canals and beaches. I particularly love those first moments on a hot day, when immersed in the warm, quiet of the ocean, the smell of suntan lotion, the quest for finding refuge, quietness and escapism even when surrounded by other people. I like the viewer to create the narrative for themselves. Everyone can relate to these beach scenes, they are reminders of family, friends, time spent together enjoying the water and the beach, memories as children and as adults. That is what is special for me, when I look at them, it reminds me of those moments.”
Her work is stylish and elegant, popular for the contemporary interior palette. The colours are bright but calming and her technical approach to the figurative form is superb. Amanda told me that her palette is directly inspired by the “moody ocean”. “The difference in time of day, light and wind, even where the beach is located can have a dramatic effect on the ocean’s appearance and I like to reflect this in the specific colour palette of each piece, however I tried to connect them all with a common theme. I particularly love the colour between the shallows and the deep, when the wave is just starting to curl but hasn’t yet broken. This is the colour I most love, and what inspires my palette.”
Amanda explains that her art making process is planned and organised. As soon as inspiration strikes she will start sketching and sorting through her reference photos, visiting the beach herself to develop the ideas. From there she will start playing around with compositions. “Often I will do this as sketches or on the computer using Photoshop. I always try to stick to the general rule of thirds and maintain balance between all the elements of a piece, sometimes photos or sketches are perfect the way they are and require very few changes.” Once satisfied with both the concept and composition Amanda will select an appropriate canvas and create a detailed final sketch to work from.
Working on the canvas is a separate process for Amanda that begins with “loosely blocking in colour and shape” followed by a thin wash to tint. She then begins creating detail in increasingly thicker layers to build up the work and give depth. Quality and luxe finishing is important to Amanda, so she completes each artwork with several layers of glaze to tone and contrast the finer details as well as a gloss UV varnish for protection and to ensure the colours remain pure.
It has been such a great experience curating the Contempo at KAB Gallery exhibition. I have enjoyed learning about Amanda Cameron’s beautiful “Aqua” series and her dedicated painting approach. The artworks are exquisite to view and it’s obvious to see that she has enjoyed creating them. After viewing the complete series I asked Amanda what she thought was the best part of being a professional artist to which she replied: “It’s definitely watching a new piece come to life, to have created something out of nothing, that brings enjoyment. That’s the ultimate goal for me.”