A snarling lion with a mane like red flames; a trumpeting blue-and-violet elephant; an ostrich with feathers of crimson, aquamarine and orange: these are just some of the striking creations that have emerged from their nursery in Amanda Frost’s studio.
Originally from England, Frost’s introduction to drawing was seeing her father at work on his drafting table. Today, Frost paints nature subjects (many animals), landscapes, buildings and commissioned work, both as large and colourful paintings, but also as pointillism pen and ink drawings. Pointillism is the art of applying thousands and thousands of dots of varying density to a canvas in order to create images. The style demands a great deal of time, patience and precision to achieve the finished product.
One might assume that an artist could find such finely detailed, disciplined work suffocating, but as Frost says, “I like rigid, I like structure.” While her works sometimes take months to complete, Frost explains that the sense of meaning and purpose she gets from her work are all she needs to carry herself forward. Her artistic gifts are clear to see in her work, currently on display at A+ Art Gallery, and also viewable at her Facebook page, Amanda Frost Artwork.
Frost faced a great deal of adversity as she began her career as an artist. “My family never really supported me following my art. They’re like, ‘Get a real job.’ I tried ‘real’ jobs...made me insane,” she laughs. Despite discouraging remarks from those who should have known better, Frost followed her calling. Perhaps some people don’t consider art to be a ‘real job’, she reflects: “It’s not a ‘job’, it’s a ‘hobby’, it’s what you do in your spare time,” she laughs, recalling condescending opinions she’s encountered. “Yeah, well that’s what I do all day, every day.” Ultimately, only you can understand the value of what you do and stick to it, and Frost has never doubted that she made the correct choice. She is still as enthusiastic as ever about her work and how her viewers experience it.
“I like to give the viewers a challenge,” she says. “I don’t do your normal colours; I will change the colour palette...it’s more fun. I like to give the viewers something that stands out.” Check out Frost’s gloriously colourful ostriches, bears and vultures: they all seem to declare how vibrant they are from the canvas. Helping you to see an animal in a new way is one of Frost’s artistic goals.
With a longtime enthusiasm for motorcycles (specifically, sport bikes), Frost recently purchased a Kawasaki Ninja that she hopes to have on the road soon. “Just the freeness, just getting out there and being free...I don’t know how to describe the feeling,” she says. “You can just hop on the bike and go.” Riding sport bikes can be hazardous, of course: it takes thinking three steps ahead of the other vehicles on the road, being very proactive and aware of your surroundings, and never assuming that other drivers will do the right thing. With an understanding of the risks, the rewards are more than worth it.
Another source of great joy for her creative soul? ‘80s movies. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off tops the list; having helped her get through hard times, it remains a favourite. Dirty Dancing is on the list too, and while we’re not going to go through the whole list here, the point is: some stories just have what you need to get you through the day. Speaking of getting through the day, BRD asks Frost: tea or coffee?
“I like both!” Frost (who does not sleep very much) replies. Is caffeine good or bad? The answer is an emphatic “Good!” We’re going to have to agree: whatever keeps Amanda Frost’s psychedelic animals and glorious Pointillism apparitions bursting to life sounds good to us!
To learn more about Frost, her work, and her journey through the art world, check out the latest edition of the BRD Artist Highlight Podcast, available now on Soundcloud!
For a great selection of Frost's artwork, check out Amanda Frost Artwork on Facebook
All artwork above by Amanda Frost