Category Archives: art discussions

Behind the Paint brush


Behind the Brush

…it’s been awhile since I’ve said hello and introduced myself to all my new followers.
So here’s a little bit about me and my art.
I’m Amanda Milke, I live in Fort Saskatchewan just outside of Edmonton, Alberta Canada. I’m originally from #Moncton NB so I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing the best of Canada it’s oceans and it’s mountains and they both have my heart.
I’m a self taught artist and have been painting and creating since 1995 probably earlier. Originally I focused on acrylic abstract/impressionist portraits and then gradually started exploring different mediums while we were living and teaching English in Japan.

Gradually over time, my style evolved into mixed media. I kept my love for acrylic’s bright bold colors and paired them with acrylic mediums and found elements for texture. My creative inspiration comes from my faith. I am a follower of Jesus, I like to say a practicing Christian because everyday is a work in progress.

I love using my mixed media elements with my faith theme because it reminds me that we aren’t one dimensional beings. Each and everyone of us is multifaceted and can be seen from different angles. I love using broken and found objects and recreating them into art because it reminds me of redemption. No matter how broken or lost we are we can be transformed into a work of art. And lastly I use bright colors and reflective rhinestones in my work to symbolize the joy, light and hope we have. Too often art focuses on the dark and hopelessness of life and I just want to spread some love, light and hope around with my paintbrush 🖌❤

Farewell NOA til next year!


Well the weekend for the Night of Artists has come and gone for another year and it was a lovely experience.

Not only did I get a chance to sell and discuss art outside of the Fort, but I got to meet and chat with fellow creatives and start a few friendships.

Here are a few pictures of the weekend! If anything catches your eye shoot me a message to purchase. I offer free delivery of large pieces in the Edmonton and surrounding area.

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“Immersion” coming 2019


I love creating art around a theme or concept and for 2019 that theme is “Immersion”.

I’ve been inspired by how prominent water is used as a symbol in the bible from the sea of Galilee to the many miracles that center around it and I wanted to create a body of art that encompasses that wet and wild imagery.

So, throughout 2019 my media feeds will be flooded with many water based paintings which hopefully will culminate into “Immersion” a gallery exhibit that will immerse you the viewer into this wet, wonderful world.

For now, here is a look at some past and present and in progress pieces to immerse your senses in.

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🌊💙

Amanda

New Life and New ART


I’ve been thinking about my 2019 exhibit(s) and the theme I keep having come to mind is a series of mixed media paintings based on scriptures that incorporates florals, botanicals and natural elements. There’s so many verses in the Bible that talk about life and growth using plant based analogies that I think it would make for a rich and vibrant series. I have a ton of ideas for paintings and art objects which I will share with you over the next few months. Til then, I’ll leave you with this work in progress flower that will soon be added to my Tree of Life painting.

floral

Tree of life- work in progress


I started this piece this summer at my Blue Pomegranate exhibit to show visitors to the gallery what one of my pieces looks like stripped down, bare bones. This is still a work in progress.

I’m gradually getting back to painting after battling a major artist block due in part by me questioning my purpose. How can I use this gift of craftsmanship to further God’s kingdom.

Art is a tough gift because it’s almost been eradicated from the church so there are no solid church based mentors to come alongside you and help you work out the path to walk and the regular pastors/church leaders seem to discredit it as having no real benefit to the body of the church seeing it as just superficial pretty pictures.

My goal is to prove them wrong. If I am created by a creative God to create then there has to be a purpose and daily I am striving to find it. Revelation talks of the tree of life that believers will be able to eat from and have eternal life and how the leaves are for the healing of the nations.

I love this image of the tree and its healing properties. It makes me question, what if just putting beauty, truth and goodness back out into this world right now in the form of faith based art is a way to refresh and remind the worlds souls that there is more than what is seen right now and there is hope for a future and maybe it stirs up something inside you that sets you off searching out how YOU can experience it. Isn’t that something worthwhile, you can read 100 books on how to have a better life or maybe one day a painting will inspire you to read the one book that will change your life forever?

I have to try for your soul and mine.

God is great! And this is my gift and I want to share my journey with you. So maybe one day we can both eat from the real tree of life.

❤🖌

Amanda

Between the Rock and a niche place


I have this problem. It all started by being a follower of God.  Don’t get me wrong, God is not the issue here, being a Christian and an Artist however apparently is. You see if I was JUST a Christian or JUST an Artist there’d be less of an issue but because I am both, I’m an outcast. An outcast from the world’s standards because I’m  considered a “niche” artist, “that’s great art and all but I can’t hang that in my office because of the religious connotations” and an outcast in the church because despite the statement that we are all created in the image of God they seem to take issue with us that lean more toward the creative scope of God’s personality that aren’t on the praise team. Since I worship, witness and praise my God using a paint brush they don’t know what to do with me. I don’t fit into their nicely labelled how can we use you box because they have thrown out the one we did fit into.

I grew up in a little Baptist church on the east coast, every Sunday morning sunlight shone through beautiful stain glass windows that members had commissioned to beautify the church, to illustrate stories and characters from the Bible. It had gorgeous carved wooden doors, beautiful pews, vibrant choir robes, there was color and texture and beauty all around and it was all made by people blessed with the gift of craftsmanship. I understand that times change and we’re living in a “modern” world that doesn’t cling to the traditional things anymore but how have we lost the value and beauty of  Art?

Art and the Church have always been a dynamic duo. We worship a creative God for crying out loud, we should be witnessing to his awesomeness using ALL the gifts that come from him. Art and the Church date way back before the Renaissance, God commissions art and artwork in Exodus for his temple and the purpose it served was not practical like today’s gray or taupe walled Big box Factory churches it was for Beauty, to fill people’s senses. We worship a Creative God so why aren’t we using our creations to worship him? It doesn’t make sense!

Instead believers and non believers are coming to churches that have no color and no beauty just practicality with neon lights, a projector and a catchy praise song. Do we truly believe that God is coming back or are we just holding a really long  memorial service? If we say we are ALIVE in Christ then why don’t we look it? The church should be bright and colorful and a feast for the senses because God made us and the world like that. It should be full of joy and celebration and it should show how the holy spirit is working in us and for those of us with the gift of craftsmanship that is our Art. If you want a modern church then have modern Christian Art that speaks about a Creative God who is alive and well and working in us. Words are not Enough!

 

 

Local artist Inspired by the divine


I had the pleasure of being interview for the local Fort Saskatchewan newspaper as part of my Blue Pomegranate art exhibit! Tonight’s the night for my Artist Talk. I can’t wait to share with everyone my process, inspiration and a personal tour of the gallery. Starts at 7pm hope you can make it out!