Friday's Fabulous Find: Amalia K.

Wishes by Amalia K.
Lately, I have been feeling like Life has been getting a little too heavy. 

Health concerns.  Numerous professional obligations.  Maintaining my sanity (and eroding authority) while living with two clever, rebellious teenagers.  Facing my fear that no amount of expensive French, caviar-infused moisturizer will be able to reverse the withering affect the dry Alaskan air has had on my skin and hair, that I am destined to spend the remainder of my days looking like the Crypt Keeper in a pink pashmina.  And then there's the endless fretting about when the new season of Mad Men will begin. 

Add to that the unbelievable shock and sadness that comes each time I look at a new photograph or listen to a new report about the poor, devastated people of Japan, struggling to rebuild some semblance of a life after last week's earthquake and tsunami.

Well, it's a lot for one woman to deal with. 

NOT Amalia's work
I decided to do what I usually do when life gets too heavy: indulge in a pastime that helps to lighten the load.  Spending the day in an art museum usually does the trick.  Usually, for you see, the Anchorage Art Museum is filled primarily with Inuit scratchings, the pelts of dried animals, and photographs documenting the history of the Iditarod.  The spirit and culture of Alaska and the circumpolar north, expressive as it may be, does not inspire the sort of art that...well...inspires me.

So, I went to the web.  Specifically, I headed over to Translucent Blue, the beautifully designed blog of artist Amalia K.  It's my oasis on the web, my hit of brain candy.

Amalia K. was born in a remote place in Sumatera, Indonesia.  Her father worked for an oil company and her mother was, and still is, a culinary entrepreneur. 

Amalia attended an Art college in the United Kingdom, but entered the university when her father got transferred back to Indonesia.  Today, she is a successful wife, mother, and independent illustrator.

Amalia was kind enough to allow me to post some of her artwork on On Life, Love and Accidental Adventures.  She also consented to an interview, which I would like to share with you now...

LMB: I was born with my passion for writing emblazoned on my soul. I have always known I wanted to be a writer. It's all I have ever desired, all I have ever done. Was art your passion early on or did you stumble upon it later in life?

AK:  I think I have been passionate about art for as long as I can remember. I was told that I used to just draw on the floor and talked to myself as if I were living in my drawings. Well, I still do, you know. Minus the talking of course. These days I talk in my head.

LMB: Do you remember the first time you looked at a piece of art and felt truly moved? Where were you and what was that piece?

AK: That would be Venus and Mars by Sandro Botticelli. I saw the painting for the first time at the National Gallery in London when I was 15 years old. Of course, I hadn't a clue what the painting really means then. If I did, I would probably have blushed and turned around. :)

Leah "learning"
pottery in
 South Korea
LMB: Let me first caveat the following questions with this little disclaimer: My art education is limited to two college art history classes and a botched stab at making Korean Pottery, so please forgive me if I lack the proper terminology.

I believe the paintings on your lovely blog, Translucent Blue, were created with watercolor paints. Is that your preferred medium? If so, why?

AK:  I was actually a loyal fanatic of colored pencils when I first started out. I worked with water and oil mediums very little back then. But after a while I fell in love with acrylic washes and tea staining, especially because it's versatile and takes less time than using pencils.

LMB: I know you are an avid reader of my blog, so you probably already have a strong sense that I believe in serendipity and destiny (and the restorative power of pastries). Bearing all that in mind, I have two questions:

Have any serendipitous things happened that have affected or inspired your art?

AK: I've encountered so many things in life by chance. Some good, some bad, and I think at some point or the other those experiences have affected myself as a person and of course, what I pour into my art. However, sometimes I wonder if those were really just fate.

And, which do you find superior, a tart, cookie, or cupcake?

AK:  And as for the three choices, I think I'm more into tart (with cream fillings!), although I have known myself to go weak on the knees in the presence of French pastries.

LMB:  Another thing we have in common!  Sweet cream and weak knees.  Nice.

AK:  :)

LMB: Not surprisingly, I am drawn to art produced in the 18th century (After all, some have wondered if I am Marie Antoinette reincarnated). Boucher. Fragonard. Lancret. De Troy. These are the artists I prefer. What style - or is it movement? - do you prefer and who are your favorite artists?
Midnight Travel
by Amalia K.

AK:  I love Botticelli (of course), but mostly inspired by the The Pre-Raphaelite and French Impressionism periods. Some of my favorites are Rossetti, Burne-Jones, Degas and Renoir.

LMB: I love the vibrant, lush colors and the Rubenesque-rounded bodies in Boucher's paintings and the stories that are told in the paintings by Fragonard and de Troy. (Did I sound as ridiculous as Randy Jackson critiquing an American Idol hopeful? "Yo, man, check it out. That was a little pitchy dawg.") What is it about your favorite artist's paintings that speak to you?

AK:  Emotions and hidden meanings are always the main keys I seek in art. I love how some art doesn't reveal the obvious and let us interpret it to our own likings and point of view.

LMB: Tracy Chevalier, author of Girl With a Pearl Earring, said, "I was lying in bed one morning, worrying about what I was going to write next...A poster of the Vermeer painting Girl With a Pearl Earring hung in my bedroom, as it had done since I was 19 and first discovered the painting. I lay there idly contemplating the girl's face, and thought suddenly, I wonder what Vermeer did to her to make her look like that. Now there's a story worth writing. Within three days I had the whole story worked out. It was effortless; I could see all the drama and conflict in the look on her face. Vermeer had done my work for me."

How do you find ideas for your paintings?

AK:  I see inspirations daily, but most of the work I get really "involved" in are the ones that came from the heart. Believe it or not, it's true that sadness and doubts are usually the main triggers for people like me to get really obsessed with work. It's like opening a door to a flood.

The Expedition
LMB:  Specifically, can you tell me what inpsired you to paint The Expedition (at left)? What is the story behind that girl with the huge eyes holding the slumbering bunny? (BTW, it did not escape my notice that she is wearing a beret. Love that!)

AK:  The Expedition is a little interpretation of my escape from reality toward something better.

LMB: If someone would like to buy your artwork, how would they accomplish that?

AK:  I have an Etsy shop for originals and prints of my work. Sometimes I add little things just to satisfy my cravings.

LMB: Finally, while I adore your artwork, truly, I have asked you to consider a painting with a Marie Antoinette feel, perhaps of a blonde with a grand pink wig, holding a plate of pastries ;) Do you see such a painting in your future?

AK:  In my world, my lovely friend, anything is possible. :)

Merci beaucoup, Amalia, for coloring our world by being this Friday's Fabulous Find!
In Death, In Sleep by Amalia K.
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Wine and Cork said...

OK. This was absolutely FAAAAAAAAAHbulous. Made me laugh out loud when I read some parts, you're so darn funny!!!!! I think that was a brilliant idea to interview Amelia K the way you did. Your questions were right on, her answers interesting, and her paintings are just wonderful and so full of expression. Just loved it all!

Dear Fireflies said...

Leah, my lovely. You never cease to amaze me with your witty sense of humor. I think that painting of the moose is the peak point for me. I just laughed so hard!

Anyway, thank you for the chance to blab away on your blog. It's been a very satisfying experience. A lot like tart, with cream filling! (^_^)


Veronique Valentin said...

Leah Marie: Your wit combined with Amalia's artistic talent made this a delightful posting. I am now going to spend a little time on Amalia's blog.

Bella Sinclair said...

Ahh, delightful interview! Amalia absolutely is a fabulous find, for any day of the week.

Mmmmmmm, pastries.....

Shirley said...

Amalia's work is transcendent. I love her work, her spirit, her kindness. She is a beautiful soul and it is always wonderful to visit her blog. I thank you for this great interview/post!

rossichka said...

Hello! "Translucent Blue" is one of my favourite blogs and Amalia is so precious to me with her amazing art, beautiful and sensitive soul and loving heart... Thank you for this wonderful interview, giving us the chance to learn something more about her! Thus I found your blog and I suppose I'll come again here soon...:)

Julia Christie said...

Amalia is one of my favorite artists and I was so excited to get to read more about her and how she creates! Thanks for this wonderful interview!


MrBibleHead said...

Great interview! I am mesmerized by Amalia’s work and am so glad that I got to know her better. Thanks Leah!

DoodleDesign said...

So happy that now I know Leah's blog from Amalia's- what a fun and informative this interview is.. Love it!

Leah Marie Brown said...

Thank you all for leaving such nice comments about Amalia's work and my blog. I really appreciate it.

Unknown said...

OMG this pictures are so beautiful...:)