Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Why Abstracts?

Written for the IWS Nov/Dec Newsletter 2019; for better readability, see below the image.

I told our sons I would never paint abstracts, well guess what? I am explaining to them why their Mom continues to paint realism but has added abstracted paintings to her work.
This article is my response to their inquiry as well as my art students that have watched my work expand. Why would I as an artist paint abstract? What brings me to abstract’s mystery, purpose, or importance? How have abstracts helped me in personal discoveries and thoughts?

Why I paint abstracts
  • Forces me to think in deeper terms of the elements and principles of art
  • Brings a renewed excitement and passion to my work
  • Increase my visual experience, helps me interpret the world in new stories
  • Enables me to discover fresh ways to interpret my thoughts, my personal voice, and style
  • Pushes my limits, reminding me of the feeling of someone new to art  
  • Challenges my sense of wonder and intrigue
  • Develops a new appreciation of what it takes to make good design
  • The experience I get when I play, experiment and expand my ideas; how can I use these methods, colors, textures, etc.….
  • For the joy of discovering & inspirational adventures
  • Increases my variety of media, tools and methods
  • Pushes new difficult colors, design and unusual compositions
  • Rearranges the elements and principles of art to bring a freshness to my work

Outcomes from working on abstract art
  • When I critique my students’ artwork, my critique is rich and more diverse than before abstracts
  • It helps me develop my personal voice and help others discover theirs
  • Increases my student base and their horizons
  • Encourages the study of more kinds of art
  • Opens a new client base with increased sales
  • Helps me in the interest of more variety in series of my paintings
  • Abstract sharpens my skills in judging shows to have deeper appreciation for strengths and weaknesses of design
  • I get a new layer of understanding and skill in my realistic work
  • I receive new excitement and set aside more studio hours
  • Helps me travel my viewer through art in a fresh perception
  • Increases depth of knowledge
  • Appreciation for more styles of work
  • Builds my confidence and ability to risk the unknown

Personal Abstracts
My abstracts are the rearranging of a subject or an idea into a new visual expression. The process can be very planned or free flowing with problem solving all along the way to final discovery. I take the viewer on an intentional journey through my artwork.  My abstracts are purposeful using elements and principles of design arranged into new compositions and directions. My work has emotion and style woven into new forms that artists and clients can still recognize as a Linda Aman work of art.
I challenge you to explore new territory and thought processes in your current work. Take risk and know you are the only one who can produce the art you create. You are uniquely you. Enjoy the experience, go more for the education than the results and results will come.

If you are interested in abstracts, I have a three day retreat I teach every year.  

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Exciting News in Idaho Falls!

Idaho Falls Magazine has my experience as the Artist in Residence at Yellowstone featured in their August issue!  What an honor!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Announcing Winners of the Art Stampede 2019 National Show, Juror Linda Aman

I was honored to be the judge and juror for the 2019 Art Stampede National Show, held at the Nampa Civic Center July 15th - 20th!  The fine art in this show was exceptional and a privilege to judge.  I have very specific criteria and it was exciting to see who rose to the top.  A special congratulations to all who entered!  It shows you are serious about your commitment in fine art and your personal journey.
A huge thank you to Debra Curry of Heartland Studios for sponsoring this wonderful show!  It was a big success because of you and your team.
Thank you for giving the public the opportunity to view and enjoy your fine art.

There were three categories: Western Heritage, Western Landscape and Rodeo.

Here are my choices for the different categories, including Best of Show:

Best of Show, "Yupo Runners" by Barbara Watkins

Western Heritage

1st Place, "Smoke, No Mirrors" by Cheryl Harley-Vole

2nd Place, "Coexistence in a Modern Age" by Laurel Lake McGuire

3rd Place, "Cha'Kwaina" by Karen Young

Honorable Mention, "Wind Blown" by Ginger Lantz

Western Landscape

1st Place, "Hovenweep Utah" by Chi E. Shenam Westin

2nd Place, "Lone Tree at Silver City" by Tracy Love

3rd Place, "Silos in Spring" by Jean AhFong

Honorable Mention, "Winter Creek" by Susan Kluksdal


1st Place, "Hangin' Out" by Lawrence Manning

2nd Place, "You're Next" by Lanie Frick

3rd Place, "Burn Baby Burn" by LaReece Stinger

Honorable Mention, "Ghost Rider" by Pam Grant

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Yellowstone Story!

 Linda Aman - Aman Arts
The Yellowstone Story

"I promised my story here it is..."

Essence of Yellowstone through an Artist’s View
Color, Composition and Conversations of Yellowstone

Go to amanarts.com/project/yellowstone to see my art...

What is an Artist in Residence?

“Artist in Residence” is a volunteer position to create art in the park and promote National Parks. I registered online with the national parks and was contacted that they had chosen me for September 2018. What an honor!


I feel grateful for the opportunity and the experience of creating my art in the beautiful environment of Yellowstone National Park as Artist in Residence. Living in the park as the artist in residence for 20 days impacted my creativity as an artist and personal appreciations for the beauty that surrounded me. I was immersed each day in the beauty of God’s creation. I felt at the time I was back in the beginning of time. Seeing the melding of colors, shapes, lines, pathways of light and movement of the geysers, along with the sounds and wind, impacted my sense of awareness to another level; which, also impacted my work to new dimensions that I am only beginning to tap. 

Building Relationships

Yellowstone Staff and the Visitors of Yellowstone

The staff I worked alongside at Yellowstone Forever were simply just the best! They treated me like part of the YF family. They even invited me to their potluck dinner. They welcomed me from the first day and I miss them already. They were welcoming and professional to all the tourists and visitors of the park.

Jessie is amazing as an artist and director of the Yellowstone Forever Center
She is such a delight.

Some of the wonderful employees and volunteers at the Center

One day I had journalists and guests ask me about my art and experiences

Ok, these visitors are a little pampered!

I didn’t know what to expect for my time in Yellowstone. I knew I would create new work and have a fair amount of paintings. What I did not expect is to be amid hundreds of visitors who I would engage in my process of art in the way of showing and explaining what I was creating. One World War II veteran even wrote a poem for me.

Most of my work was done in my studio area in the hours after the Yellowstone Forever center closed. I generally worked on my paintings from 7pm to 2 or 3am so that I could respond to the public during the day and still accomplish my passion for painting.

Teaching and World Relationships

This young lady and her dad took the class I taught, he didn't speak any English.Teaching art there is no language barrier! 

These two little artists wanted their picture taken with a famous artist...made my day. Guess they made me famous!

This group just had fun getting to know each other and creating art. 
We did these classes from start to finish in 20 min. Wow!

Taught en plein air up on the hill...snowing lightly when we left.

A family with great art and wonderful memories.

 I taught free, mini watercolor classes for groups of tourists coming through. Teaching opened their world to a new experience in art, new appreciation and new excitement that they can do watercolor or other forms of art. They each took home an original painting of Yellowstone’s Old Faithful they created. Meeting and teaching people from all over the US and the world was wonderful. Everyone was on the same subject: the beauty of the park and the paintings they were watching me paint. There were no divisions, even when they couldn’t speak English…we were all just enjoying each other.  It was delightful.

“Hot” News of Yellowstone

One day a man walked right up to “Old Faithful” and laid down peering inside. The large crowds waiting for “Old Faithful” to erupt were yelling at him to get away for his safely…finally the rangers caught him as he was “getting away”. They arrested him and fined him is the last I heard. We saw it all happen in an instant and it was concerning. Seems he has done this sort of thing before.

Another day I went for a walk and took a picture of “Ear Springs”. When I took the picture I thought…“hmmm...a little more activity around that area”. I discovered I was a bit correct. Next day, it went off for the first time in 15 years, throwing out all kinds of garbage: coins, cans, etc. that had been tossed in over years. They even identified a baby pacifier dated to 1930. The Spring erupted the highest on record in 60 years to 30 feet! One item that flew out was a large piece of cement, so they closed the entire section for the rest of the season for safety concerns.

  Ear Springs 

Steamboat was another newly active geyser. At times the eruptions can be years apart, as much as 50 years. In September when I was in Yellowstone, it was going off every 5-6 days and up to 40 min. long and could be 300 feet in the air. Geyser Gazers are people who sit for hours, or even days, waiting for an eruption. I met one person who she said she had been there for days and had witnessed a number of Steamboat eruptions. She had a wealth of information and a lot of patience! This year Steamboat has been the most active ever on record. You can look on line to find what has happened since I left...a lot more activity.

Old Faithful 

My studio area had a view of Old Faithful that erupted every 60-90 minutes  depending on the longevity and height of the eruption. If it is high or erupts a long time or both it takes longer to fill and go again. I was getting pretty good at predictions after seeing more than 75 eruptions (I counted from all different viewpoints) though not as expert as the rangers/scientists whose job it is to predict the next time for “Old Faithful” to be faithful.

Old Faithful

Outcomes as an Artist - Visual Language of Yellowstone

In the outcomes, my work has new direction; more en plein air, land forms in realism as well as abstractions, and lot more experimentation. I felt being immersed by walking, hearing and the visual everyday of Yellowstone, transformed my understanding of the colors and conversations of the landscape. I created about 15 artworks in the park with countless others in plan. I definitely have added new directions to my works of art. I found time of solitude, interaction with hundreds of visitors and quiet spiritual thankfulness. I saw the landscape, the geysers and wonders of the hot springs with volcanic actions and colors. I watched the wild animals, bison, black bear with three cubs, deer and elk, wolves, mountain goats, antelope, swans, birds, pesky ravens, etc. I was often emotional at the creation around me, that I was privileged to view it.  Among my favorites are the Grand Prismatic pools and the Minerva Terrace.  I am looking forward to visiting often and will always have a heart for Yellowstone with the thankfulness of beauty.

Mama bear & baby bear...second cub was swinging from the top of a tree...

We stopped the pesky Raven from stealing the wallet from the bicycle pack...

Minerva Terrace

Prismatic Springs

Painting in progress from Prismatic Springs
See finished painting on website gallery link below...

View my finished paintings from Yellowstone here:

Thursday, August 16, 2018

2018 Ashley Inn Art Retreat...

...was a big success! 
The first weekend in August, I taught a group of 13 talented artists in Cascade, Idaho for three fun, art-filled days, where we painted & created morning til evening!  We learned new techniques, tried different compositions and colors, and used new media in our artwork.  It was a wonderful time to experiment with our art, all in a beautiful mountain environment.

Already planning new ideas for next year...

Here's some things that were said about this weekend...
"The pacing was good.  I also liked the combination of demos, free time & lecture"

"Learned a lot about using watercolors & incorporating texture; design & planning and how to correct a mistake"

I enjoyed having "tools for thinking & developing exposure to new media"

"It was well structured and organized, it provided an opportunity to experiment & abstract"

"The design worksheet helped me to see my work.  It will help me digest the thought process."

Look at this beautiful art!  You all did a wonderful job!