Amanda Moody is something of a rare gem here in the Queen City: She’s both a native Charlottean and a naturally talented career painter. Her painting started after a few stints in the corporate role that didn’t work: “I was such a square peg in a round hole,” she laughs. “I’m a rebel at heart.” She threw herself into her painting at a time in her life when she needed beauty most. Unemployed, on the brink of divorce and at a true spiritual crossroads, she knew it was time to devote herself to her craft. According to Amanda, art virtually saved her life. “It became cathartic, and for the first time in decades I began to feel alive, worthy and vulnerable again… Painting gave me a sense of purpose and gratification I hadn’t felt in years, if ever.”
How did your interest in art begin?
I have always been creative, ever since I was little, and I always said I wanted to be an artist for a profession. I grew up very poor, but it never stopped me from constantly making something out of nothing. I always painted, and I think even the most mundane object can be aesthetically pleasing. I didn’t start really painting again until about 4 years ago, at the beginning of the end of my marriage: It was a pivotal point at a very tenuous period in my life.
Why painting for you, instead of another form of art?
The sheer range of possibility in color, movement, pattern and texture appeals so much to me. I suppose many artists feel this way about their medium, but for me it’s the end-all-be-all in infinite possibility.
How would you describe your technique and aesthetic?
I have been told on a few occasions that experiencing my art in person imparts a trance-like effect in the viewer. Much like cloud-watching or meditation, the observer’s eye sees different shapes and effects that I would like to think are brought forth from their subconscious to their conscious mind. It’s actually what happens to me while I am creating each one. Each of my paintings has layers upon transparent layers that each react with what lies underneath to create the varying depths that you see.
Who or what are your biggest inspirations?
Marc Chagall was my very first artistic love as a child and Gustav Klimt is another favorite because of the fine detail; you literally could look at one of his pieces for hours and not mentally absorb everything. Personally in my art, I am primarily inspired by the vividness and imagination of nature. The organic colors, textures, and intricate patterns that appear in even the simplest of forms speaks to the universe’s very complexity.
What’s next for you, and where can people find out more about your work?
I am currently seeking ways to have my work licensed for wallpaper and fabrics, plus without giving too much away, I’m also working on some ideas for a series that would include illuminating my work from within. That’s all I will say for now on that! Some of my recent pieces are also featured at the gorgeous Acquisitions in South End.