Amanda Houston

Amanda grew up on three continents as she lived in Africa and Saudi Arabia as a child and was educated in New England. Both her parents were educators and encouraged her to follow her creative passion as her mother herself painted oil landscapes as a hobby. Amanda holds a B.S. degree in Apparel Design and Merchandising from the University of Vermont and a graduate degree in Textile Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She was L.L. Bean’s first apparel designer in the 80’s, Nike’s first Apparel Innovation Director in the 90’s and helped launch Nike’s first e-commerce business ( during the dot-com boom.

After 17 years of traveling, designing and merchandising sports apparel for big global brands, she found she was creating less and managing more. “Eventually the only colored pens on my desk were highlighters for reading financial reports and market research trends. I always knew that I would paint someday and didn’t want to wait until I was 65 to start.” She is now allowing time to be an artist as well as helping her husband renovate their historic home, caring for two sons, raising chickens, and tending a garden surrounding their home. As a retired competitive triathlete, she still loves to run, cycle, practice yoga, and swim, but also enjoys coooking, traveling and entertaining. She is a signature award-winning member of the NW Pastel Society and she has won numerous awards at a national level.

“I am always drawn to the moments when the light is most dramatic, often at the edges of our days, when cast shadows lure me in for a closer look at the contrast of colors or moods are most intense. I strive for rhythm and depth in my work, for edges that are lost and found and for textural surface qualities, regardless of my medium. I’m primarily a pastel painter that dabbles in oil but enjoy innovating with the medium, as I am doing with my pastel drawings on copper.”

“Painting is just as much about the journey as it is the finished piece. I love creating new things so painting is a pure joy, yet each piece brings its own set of challenges and frustrations to work through, pushing me to grow and learn. My voice is constantly evolving and the more I paint, the more I realize how much there is still to learn. I’m striving for my ten thousand hours, constantly pushing myself to loosen up, try new things and surrender to the process.”

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