Welcome, New Blog Readers, as 2013 nears...

Upon observing web stats I have seen a peak in blog traffic, and it's been awhile since I've introduced myself aside from my side bar bio. My name is Amanda Christine Shelton, and I am a self-employed artist and freelancer in Oklahoma City, blogging here for your enjoyment and perhaps, benefit, when I stumble out in the real world and leave the lessons in bytes on the interwebs.

I blog for my fellow artists and crafters concerning topics of administration and organization, with the odd tutorial as I find useful goodies about which I am confident sharing, and keep my current and future collectors updated on events and newly created works. In 2013 I will be adding a Mailing List, although you can also get these blog updates in your inbox by signing up on the sidebar of this blog with your email address as well. I try to keep mentions of other community events in my city on the blog as they are relevant to the style of art I make or general arts programming in our state and city.

Really Love Your Secrets:
Wanna Shake Your Trees

22x28 acrylic, sold
©Amanda Christine Shelton
A little about me and my work:

I work in a style that is somewhat representational while drawing on both classic and contemporarily defined surrealism and 19th century romantics, taking into account my outdoorsy upbringing and secondary knowledge of much of the world through book study and allegorical life experience. It has been called lowbrow and "pop" surreal, and also fantasy, but consistently noted to having a mystical,dreamy, or ethereal quality by viewers. You will see a lot of stylized female characters, creatures, and materials like oil paints, watermedia, ink, and gold leaf, often incorporating found objects that very close and prequalified family and friends bring to me- they all have stories or sentimental value, are part of a collection or are examined before use, and I pass it on in the made pieces... only an edited selection are on my site as I grow a larger body of work that exposes more vulnerability and personal narrative. Portraits and Pet Portraits are a mainstay of my work, executed in my style honed over the last years, or more representational to photos. I also make murals and do client-specific illustration work, and on the freelance side I do commercial photography for other businesses and online sellers, write advertising, editorial, and journalistic content and do design consulting work. I used to do event planning on the festival level- including food/alcohol/entertainment booking, and I help with non-profit causes in my area in this aspect when I am able.

Guests viewing works inspired by shelter pets at 2012 Sit.Stay.Art! at IAO Gallery -Downtown OKC
Sit.Stay.Art! is an art show where artists sell art and proceeds also benefit Pets and People Human Society, I have been working on the committee with submissions this last year and also again in 2013.
photo ©A. Shelton

I am self-taught. This does not mean I did not ever take an art class, art history class, or go to college. On the contrary I did all three of the former and did well, but did not have familial or financial support to obtain a full-time formal arts education, so I have a blend of training and experience through learning from mentors and other artists, and through my own pursuit of the techniques I have really wanted to learn. I maintain a regular practice through sketches and studies and try to never stop learning.
working on a mural for Oklahoma History Center exhibit based on the "Alice in Wonderland" concept art of native-born Mary Blair, who did many projects for Disney in her lifetime. (photo 2012 by OK History Center)

I grew up in the 90s, during that time drove a car from the 70s, and it played music from the 50s-60s in it. I love good movies and cartoons, comics and books. I am married to a wonderful man with amazing animal husbandry skills- when we walk outside, bees and butterflies land on him. No joke. We love to be outside, re-arrange furniture, and play with our sweet spoiled cat Stormy. If Nermal from Garfield grew up and turned into a larger, grayer Garfield, that's our cat.

Arts Council's Leadership Arts Class 2010 - some wonderful arts and community leaders from all over the state!
Gallerists, volunteers, artists, city planners, business owners, theater directors, even a mayor :)
Fun trivia- one of the members of this photo/class = Wilma Mankiller's daughter- Wilma Mankiller was the first female chief of the Cherokee Nation, based in Talequah, where we explored their arts community seamlessly integrated into the college and town life through diplomacy and well developed assets.
Photo by K.O. Rinnearson ©PhotoArt Studio

A little about where I live:

Oklahoma is a very conservative state with few super-liberal enclaves. This affects the arts greatly as advocates are dealing with state budget issues while emerging artists are consistently looking for  opportunities, while largest giving entities originate from our oil/energy heritage. Arts as a part of education-one of the areas where artists can make the biggest difference as teachers or volunteers- are shown statistically to lead to better development academically and socially. Our State Arts Council has done several studies on the impact of our artists on the local economy as well, and holds a Leadership Class each year where creative Okies come together to address these topics, and then go out to their respective towns to implement plans for programming.  We have arts districts that have been developed around our historical and architectural landmarks, as well as museums that address the history of the state, including both our well known Native American culture and slightly lesser known Pop Culture contributions.  Our artist groups like Individual Artists of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Visual Artist Coalition are at the helm of contemporary artist development and each district has member agencies addressing the needs of local artists with open and patient arms- accompanied with the Art Council's grants program it is a great place for a growing artist to build or expand a career.
my painting "Crowned Crane, Red Peacock" hanging in Coffee Slingers Roasters in Midtown OKC 2009- this piece was traded with a local seamstress who reconstructed a vintage jacket I still wear at my colder events- and I LUVved the bike shop next door (they have since moved locations) Visit Midtown if you come to OKC!! :D 

When I quit my day job to make art full-time -a misnomer since I take part-time work when I need it- I was told to just "put on your superhero's cape and go for it..." in a snarky context. But since doing so I couldn't be happier.

Full Disclosure: I wrote this while being sick all day, drinking darjeeling tea, listening to Rolling Stones. If you happened to read this far and want more...

My Website - with image galleries and links to shopping for originals and prints.

My Facebook Page - one of the best places in the social media verse for following updates and process photos. I have my Twitter connected so you can find me on either pretty quickly, and occasionally I do promotions via this blog and announce on social media.

...and here's an interview I did last year for Artseen if you want some more info on my paintings and their themes.

and of course if there's a topic you would like me to cover here on the blog or have a question, leave a comment or drop me an email any time!