Amanda Marlene: From Muse to Conductor – The Journey of an Outsider Artist

Amanda Marlene

Amanda Marlene, a multi-talented individual, is a local painter, art collector, massage therapist, and devoted mother of four. Originally an Austin transplant, she made the life-changing decision to move to Huntsville 15 years ago to create a nurturing environment for her family. Since her arrival in Huntsville, Amanda has actively engaged in community service, providing infant massage and childbirth preparation classes at the Pregnancy Care Center, and teaching yoga at the public library.

For Amanda, volunteering in places that directly benefit the community has been a priority. But her journey into the world of art is equally compelling. Amanda started as a muse, captivating the art department at the University of Texas as a model while pursuing her literature degree. As fate would have it, during the pandemic, she experienced a full circle transformation, transitioning from being an object of inspiration to becoming a conductor of her artistic expression.

She classifies herself as an “outsider artist” due to her lack of formal training. Painting became both a meditation practice and a pathway to healing for herself and others. In a remarkable feat, on her 44th birthday in 2020, she initiated a project where she created a new piece of art every day for 44 days. This collection was aptly named “Revolution 44,” and her preferred style for this series was Abstract Impressionism. This mode of expression enabled her to evoke emotional effects using colors as the primary means of conveying emotions.

Her creative process during the pandemic was profound. Instead of buying new canvases, she repurposed old paintings from thrift stores and received cast-off cabinet doors and slices of wood from people in her community. This transformation of ordinary objects into meaningful art symbolized the renewal and purpose she discovered during a challenging period of her life. Raising school-aged children during quarantine and co-parenting in survival mode provided her with inspiration for her artwork, reflecting themes of radical body acceptance related to pregnancy, childbirth, and the complexities of life.

Amanda’s art does not adhere to a strict schedule; it emerges organically amidst the mundane chores of life. She paints in stolen moments—during pet feedings, while her children prepare for school, and between tending to the garden and preparing meals. Painting is her constant companion, a glue that holds her together during the ever-changing rhythm of her daily routines.

Exhibiting her artwork for the first time was both liberating and emotionally challenging. When her first painting was sold, she experienced mixed feelings, as if parting with a cherished piece of herself. However, the recognition her art received and the support of the local community encouraged her to continue sharing her creations.

Amanda’s artistic journey has led her to participate in various shows, such as “Chops and Drops” at Crazywood Gallery and her first solo show titled “Flow” at the Lucky Bat in June of 2021. The positive response from the community resulted in “Overflow,” where she displayed four small shows simultaneously in local businesses around Huntsville. She also took part in two group exhibits at the Lucky Bat called “Sacred Psychedelics” and “Anything Goes.”

During the pandemic, Amanda found a unique way to bridge her love for painting with her work in the healing arts. Unable to provide hands-on contact with her clients, she created a practice called EAMP (Expressive Art Movement Practice). This interactive approach allowed her to connect with clients one-on-one via Facetime, guiding them through movements, breathing exercises, and painting with identical materials and colors. The exchange of completed artworks and photographs through text messages created a meaningful and fulfilling experience for both Amanda and her clients.

Currently, Amanda Marlene’s installation titled “Remnants from My Parents Home” can be viewed at American Shaman CBD and Circle P Antiques in Navasota. Her next installation will grace the historic jail on University, where the Buzzed Cup is currently constructing the CAT Cafe.

Amanda Marlene’s artistic journey is a testament to the power of transformation, healing, and creativity. As she continues to evolve as an outsider artist, her work resonates with emotions, life experiences, and the intricate connections that tie us all together. Her dedication to community service, artistic expression, and motherhood makes her an inspiring figure, reflecting the profound impact one person can have on the lives of others through the power of art.