amy clay studio shot.jpg

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. I always want to know what is beyond. 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 exploration, and I look for adventure at every turn.

After getting my BFA from Syracuse University and University of East London, I worked as a fashion designer in NYC and London, but soon burned out and left that lifestyle to travel the world, mostly by bicycle. When I moved to Boulder, CO, I learned to paint intuitively and trust the process rather than having a predetermined idea before I even begin a painting. This approach changed my life and my work, and since then I’ve been exhibiting my work internationally in such places as Italy, London, Spain and India. 

I work mostly in acrylic, but I have painted in encaustic, watercolor, oil, and used fiber, collage and found objects in assemblage. 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.

My favorite thing is to combine art and travel - 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 affect the work that I do.