About Amy:

amy clay studio shot.jpg

I've always had the longing for adventure. I would read novels by Jack London and imagine building a boat and pushing off from the shore. I always had one foot in the “real world” and one foot already off on some quest.

This push/pull made for many, often contrary, lives.

Growing up in the burbs of Boston and then art school in NY, I first jumped ship to do art school in London for a coming of age year abroad. After graduation, I beelined to New York City to pursue a career as a fashion designer. After working for Donna Karan (then at Anne Klein) and Jones New York, the wanderlust struck again.

Fed up with the corporate 80’s Bonfire of the Vanities, I chucked it all in, and bicycled 1/2 way around the world for a year, 6 of those months in the lower Himalaya. But too much naval gazing without a creative outlet put the breaks on. As well as other reasons.

Such as having my beautiful son, settling down in Boulder CO as a wife and mother. Oh and some years later I became a step mother for a grand total of 3 teenage boys.

At the ripe age of 36, I studied with 2 fabulous painters at Naropa University, a Buddhist school focused on intuitive and authentic expression. This was the turning point of painting as I do today.

In life and art, I long for the horizon. There is an invisible tether that pulls me toward the unknown, and this is reflected in the artwork that I do.

Even in my purely abstract paintings, it’s always about a mythical journey of discovery. My paintings are maps, evidence of the journey, not literal, but gestural. They arise out of the moment in my studio, and make evident the moment of pushing off from the shore. Each stroke is a moment of discovery, and I look for adventure at every turn.

Art and travel are in my bones. My favorite thing is to take time away from my home environment to go on artist residencies around the world. I have been to 20 residencies in over 14 countries so far, including Turkey, Iceland, New Zealand and Ireland, and I love to see how new environments impact the work that I do.  

After getting my BFA from Syracuse University and University of East London, I worked as a fashion designer in NYC and London, but after some major burnout, I left that lifestyle to travel the world, mostly by bicycle. When I moved to Boulder, CO, I learned to let go and paint intuitively.. This approach changed my life and my work, and since then I’ve been painting and exhibiting internationally in such places as Italy, London, India and Spain. 

I paint mostly in acrylic, but I have used a variety of mediums including encaustic, oil, fiber, collage and found objects. I love printmaking, especially solar plate etching. Although, it really doesn’t matter what mediums I use - it’s always about the process. And ultimately I ask myself - how really free am I? What are the limiting voices - internally and externally - that keep me from my most brave and authentic expression? Once I identify the narrow scope, I can push forward into new territory.

”I live in longing,
born of adventures explored and missed.
places that half exist –
familiar and foreign, not quite known
call to me.

There are worlds that reside in-between
deep in the collective imagination
and I push off from the shore in search of them.

My work reflects the desire to know and not know –
to bushwhack through some distant land and
bring back secrets and mysteries.

My physical travels have incited in me this
lust for the exotic, a quest for the unseen,
and when i am anchored, I move freely to
places of the imagination in a continual state
of openness and discovery.

My studio becomes my ship on open water.”