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Amanda McLenon

I create paintings of wildlife, and strive to highlight the beauty found in the daily rituals and moments that might otherwise seem mundane.  I am particularly in love with large wading birds. I would say it is because I have a background in biology, but it is likely the other way around.  My passion for the natural world, as well as my desire to understand it are what drove me to my studies. I started my career as a high school science teacher and completed my second master’s degree in marine biology at the College of Charleston. A chance experiment with paint led me to art, and I have found it to be a much more effective way to convey my emotional connection to the natural world.  My recent focus is creating larger-than-life birds on canvas, in motion, flying and preening.

I have travelled the world and collected photographs and experiences that are constant inspiration. I paint oil on canvas and employ various media to “loosen” the paint and allow it to flow like water, or to create textures and structure to represent the feathers. My brushstrokes are gestural and convey motion. Backgrounds are simple and allow the bird to be the focus, and although the birds are accurate they are also impressionistic. I also use metal leaf as a way to elevate the perceived status of the bird, reminiscent of historic iconography. My goal is that these paintings convey not just how I, as an artist, see the world, but how I FEEL the world.

I hope that these paintings encourage you to pause, to consider, and to preserve the natural world around you.