Organic Psychedelia Embrace Nature’s Patterns with This Abstract Artist’s Layered Paintings Melbourne-based artist Amanda Krantz’s abstract art is inspired by natural patterns. Her paintings are themselves like organisms, and have the colour, intricacy, detail, layers and textures you might find in a plethora of micro and macro ecologies. But her natural inspiration works in two ways. It does not just involve imitation of natural patterns, it also has implications into the process through which her artworks are created. “My process is underpinned by a playful exploration of materials. The fluidity of paints are life-like, and my relationship with them is symbiotic.” – Amanda Krantz Amanda’s work is popular on Instagram; when it comes to operating outside the gallery, she has been a pioneer. She realised early on the potential that the internet had to grow an audience as an artist and has since taken residencies and exhibited her work all over the world. We spent some time with the artist finding out more about her work. THE PLUS: What inspires a new abstract painting? Amanda Krantz: A new painting could begin from something as simple as a colour combination I saw and liked, or a new pattern that I’ve seen during a walk in my neighbourhood, or in travels, or even images online. It could also come from a new paint product or colour too. I’m driven by a need to make new discoveries when I paint. TP: How long do you spend on a painting and what’s the process? AK: The time I spend on a painting varies quite a lot, and it’s difficult to time since I tend to work on a number of works at any one time. Working on multiple pieces is necessary when your work is mega-layered to make use of drying time between layers. Layers are the key to my painting process… each layer informs the following layer, and I don’t see far into the future of a painting. I’m usually unsure when a painting is close to being finished. TP: How did you get into abstract art? AK: I didn’t start out as an abstract painter, but I had a love for paint itself and was always experimented with the different products available and the different effects obtained through the use of paint viscosities and chemicals, and so turning to the abstract was a very natural progression. TP: What do you think about artists using Instagram to circulate their work? AK: Instagram has become a necessity for artists. The format of the platform suits our medium and works well in creating overlapping communities of artists, art-lovers and designers. It’s a fantastic tool for gaining opportunities one would never have known to pursue, and is perfect for the many artists who are allergic to self-promotion… here is a way where you can pop your work up, and people find you instead. TP: What emotions do you try to bring out the most in your paintings? AK: I’ve heard people describe my work as “happy”, but happiness isn’t something I ever try to portray. I’m far more interested in balance, beauty and evoking peace… and perhaps “fun”. TP: There is some Japanese aesthetic inspiration in your work. Can you tell us more about that? AK: I am attracted to the Japanese aesthetic, but on a deeper level, I relate to the sensitivity the Japanese culture have to nature and the changes in landscapes over seasons. And to the culture and philosophy of Japanese arts, for example bonsai, to work *with* nature, and guide nature to beauty. I relate this to the way that I paint. The paint itself is fluid and does its own thing while I guide it as best I can. I’m interested in creating as mere facilitator to nature, mistakes and happy accidents. TP: Some of your artwork has elements of humour in it. Is humour an important part of art making? AK: It makes me happy that you noticed the humour! It’s quite subtle and secondary, but yeah, it’s important to me. It helps me not take my career too seriously (important to for any artists’ mental health), and it’s another potential layer of connection to your audience.