Amanda K Bielby
Some would say fooled at a young age by my athletic ability, a talent for fine detail, and a learning disability that pulled me from school. I went into the building trades at a young age. I believed if I could just push harder than the next that, I would someday become my own boss. I dreamed of art and saw it in everything I did. Every wooden board finished and nailed. Swirls of trowel marks on a cement floor.
My artistic hands fit well into the trade of house painting. I soon discovered Faux painting, and on cloud 9 I felt I had found my dream job. I started my own business, along with the responsibilities of being a parent and a wife. I felt that being self-employed would allow me the flexibility to be more present. I found myself doing some of the most exciting jobs in our city, restoring ornamental painting in historic buildings. Wholly swept away, I was hard at it from dark to dark. I started cancelling family weekends to meet deadlines. I was concealing that I was developing arthritis through my back and shoulders, I experienced my first panic attack. Something was slowly creeping up on my ability to think clearly. I became grouchy. I found myself weakening. I looked around and saw that people I loved and admired in the trades were suffering too, with lung conditions, brain injuries, bad backs, and so on. I felt cornered, hurt that I had put so much into something that may never pay off. Then I saw my childhood dream staring me right in my face. Everything I needed was there I didn’t even have to buy an artist brush; I just had to start. So I quit calling my paint shop a shop and started calling it a studio.
I believe the craftsmen in the building trades develop their own fine art over time. With the competition biting at our heels, we tend to forfeit our bodies and personal lives to get the job done. My art is my way of escaping that same fate, yet still fulfilling my passion for dirty hands and fine detail. I create contemporary art. I fell in love with historic paint and plaster techniques, usually used in a cathedral-like setting. I twist them around, add some modern mixes, and place them on a substrate so that you can have a piece of the cathedral to add to your home or business. My inspiration grows from the beautiful mountain state I live in, and the moments and existence of life. My background has motivated me to incorporate leftover building material that on the norm would be thrown away to our landfill. Hoping that I might help a step towards restoring our environment as well as myself. Who would have thought that the very thing that pulled me away from my dreams, pinned me down, and forced me back two them? Thankful for a different path.