Thursday, 4 February 2016

Art: by Amanda LeProvost

When I first encountered Amanda on Twitter and saw her art work I asked if I could write a post about it. Her work stood out to me and I felt drawn to it.
Before Christmas I put out a request for pictures and messages to send to severely ill patients in the clinic I go to.  I was touched and overwhelmed by Amanda's quick response and donations to the ladies and myself.  I have found myself spending long moments looking at the painting she sent to me. I see peace in her art; what we all strive for she captures in her paintings.

Her use of colour and how she blends them together are what capture the eye and add a tone and depth to subjects you may have seen before yet she makes them so tranquil and soothing. I think the reason why I love her work is because she paints nature as I feel when I'm in it.

I was intrigued to know more about Amanda,  in particularly as an artist, so I asked a few questions and she was kind enough to answer.

Can you tell us a bit about your ME story? 
In my early twentys out of the blue I became Ill. It took 10 years to get a diagnosis of M.E. on doctors advice I'd been pushing myself to keep going and by that point I collapsed at work. That was that. I've been housebound ever since which is coming up to another  10 years. I think getting a late diagnosis did a lot damage. But there's no point looking back and thinking what if.   The hardest thing for me has been accepting how ill I am. It's taken me all this time to finally except that I need to stop pushing myself and rest. I'm hoping this change in me might help me get a bit better. From experience I know rest is best when you have M.E.

When did you started to paint,  and have you had any teaching?
I started drawing and painting the moment I was big enough to pick up a brush. Just loved it! Apart from art at school I've only done a one year art foundation course, so I'm mainly self taught. Growing up every spare minute I had you'd find me drawing or painting.

What paints do you prefer to use? 
My favourite paints are any that have not got latex in them as I'm allergic to it. I use Windsor and Newton at the moment. I prefer whsmith's paints as they go on better but can't be sure they are latex free.

What inspires you? 
  I'm inspired by big skies, big open spaces, colour and the sea. Any scene that touches me emotionally. I have a bit of a photographic memory so I can can go out in to the country side soak in the place;how it looks, how it feels. Then it stays with me till I paint it from memory. I try to get the feeling of the place in to the painting, I used to do very detailed photographic type work when I was younger. I now do more impressionistic paintings now. I love playing with shape and colour so paintings sometimes verge more on to abstract. I believe in God and I find his peace in nature which inspires me to try and get the peace I'm feeling on to canvas.
Sometimes my paintings are totally from my imagination. I don't copy from photographs, don't do sketches. I don't do under drawings, I just start with a colour get out the way and they tend to paint themselves.

Does it help you cope? 
Painting helps me to relax as it clears my mind. I don't think or worry when I'm painting. I suppose I'm at peace. Also it's a fun thing that I can still do. Although I have to be careful and only do it when I'm feeling strong enough.  

For more of Amanda's wonderful art work please visit her blog artbyamandaleprevost