Helensburgh artist Amanda Syke gets up with the birds to paint on their feathers!
Creating gorgeous artworks of birds and animals, while she loves to paint on any surface, Amanda really loves the delicate fragility of a feather.
She has recently been named a finalist in the XI World Polo Championship Art Exhibition which brought together emerging artists from all over Australia .
Amanda says all of her feathers are ethically sourced. “They all come from a single supplier in South Australia,” she says. “And they’re cruelty free, which means it can take up to 12 months to complete an artwork while I wait for the birds to moult.
“Owl feathers are my favourite,” says Amanda. “They’re so fine, which makes them difficult, because the paint bleeds easily, but the finished result is beautiful.
“Black cockatoo feathers are lovely too. The bird’s movement is slow and robotic. They have characteristics different to any other bird and that makes them special.”
Amanda grew up in Helensburgh, and has chosen to raise her own family in the area.
“I have always been interested in art,” ‘she says. “I’m totally self-taught. I started by memorising animals, then testing myself on my accuracy.”
Today, Amanda is an intuitive artist, using recall to paint everything from birds to jungle animals. She also loves abstract art, and loves to include natural mediums, including dirt, in her canvases.
“I don’t refer to images,” says Amanda. “I paint what I feel belongs on that feather. Each one is personal and unique. People really connect with them,” she says “The animals usually mean something. They strike an emotional chord.”
Each painting can take from three hours to several weeks to complete- all done at the crack of dawn, while Amanda’s young family sleeps.
“I wake around 4.30am to paint because I love the peace and quiet,” she says. “I’m fresh and everything is peaceful. Then after 7am I’m a mum for the rest of the day.
“I need art in order to function,” she says. “It’s a ritual. A lifestyle. I need to paint every day and it was important to me not to lose my identity and sense of self. So I get up early to fit it all in.”
You can have a look at Amanda’s art HERE