Amanda W. Mathis
A.W. Mathis Studio & Gallery
Acrylic primitive paintings—miniatures to murals
October hours: daily 11–5
Amanda Mathis does not use facial features on the humans and animals she paints.
“Viewers are able to impose their own ideas as to feeling and emotions that the subjects in the painting may be displaying,” she explains.
This lets each viewer have a different and ever-changing concept of the scenes she depicts.
Amanda’s work style has been labeled “primitive,” but she prefers the term “educated primitive.” She has been painting in this style since she was very young.
“I am pleased that I have kept the ‘childlike” qualities that are so greatly sought after in the art world,” she says.
Ideas come from the rural Brown County area where she lives, but she also pulls ideas from her memory and imagination and adds a touch of humor and whimsy.
“Amazingly, an Indiana scene can speak to someone from Maine or even Florida,” Amanda says. “My paintings reflect a rich Indiana heritage that has so encompassed my life experiences.”
Amanda paints on canvas and paper, but also incorporates painted frames into some of her artworks. She paints mainly in acrylic, but also uses some inks.
Her works range in size from very tiny miniatures to murals. A mural graces the wall of her working studio, and she has also painted a mural panel as part of the Brown County History Mural, which hangs in downtown Nashville.
Amanda began painting at a very early age, drawing a “mural” in her bedroom when she was only four.
“While other kids were selling lemonade,” she says, “I was selling paintings in my Lafayette neighborhood.”
Art came naturally to Amanda, so she assumed everyone could paint and draw as well as she could. It was years later that she realized she had a special ability.
“I’m grateful to be able to make a living using this gift and sharing my talents,” she says.
Amanda loves to share her talents with young people. Over the years, she has developed and taught numerous workshops and classes for children and teens and has done volunteer workshops with the local teen center. She has also been an artist in residence at the Brown County Schools, through a grant from the Indiana Arts Commission.
Amanda travels the U.S., exhibiting her paintings in art fairs and galleries. Her works hang in private collections in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, England and Spain.