Amanda Phillips originally trained as a painter and then had a career as a chartered architect for many years working on high profile buildings. She taught at Edinburgh College of Art and Edinburgh Napier University on various fine art, design and architecture courses for over a decade. She recently returned to painting as a full time occupation painting buildings, landscapes and figurative works in various media. She paints mostly in acrylic but also paints in watercolour, gouache and oils. She often incorporates the use of tartan paper in her paintings, as the grid patterns enhance the visual complexity and reflect her architectural background. She now teaches art groups and workshops at various venues throughout the Scottish Borders and runs a smallholding of rare breed sheep at an old mill near Lauder. She loves poetry, seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary and getting her hands dirty.
‘I am totally affected by the seasons and my work at any time of year reflects this – and the jazz music I listen to whilst painting must come in to it somewhere too I think …. Any one piece of work can involve all sorts of painting techniques as a response to whatever it is I am painting, it’s more like a workshop than a painting studio. I love to take risks as it keeps me excited about what I’m doing and hopefully that comes across and excites the viewer too. There’s nothing terribly intellectual about what I do, it’s a conversation in my head with a landscape or building that comes out in paint rather than poetic words – sometimes that’s a fast process that I can’t get down quick enough, sometimes it’s slow and more contemplative and worked out. It’s just what it is on the day really. It’s visual poetry I think – painting feelings and observations. The viewer then comes along and attaches their own response and interpretation, just like a poem. That can change as you go through life. I like that, things not staying the same forever, that you see it one way and maybe years later you see it another….that ways its always fresh. ’
Amanda Phillips 2016