BRANDON — Artist Amanda Amend wowed judges at the Compass Music and Arts Center when she was recognized as one of three artists to receive awards for their work in the “Barn Art” exhibit early last year.

Amend, with a tangible passion for watercolors, presented five originals for consideration and all were accepted for the show. The judges commented fulsomely on Amends’ skill with composition, reverence for beauty and extraordinary use of color.

As an award winner, she was invited to exhibit at the Compass Center, and her new show, “Lost Edges,” featuring more than 30 of her works, will open at the Compass Center on May 10.

Not only did Amend impress the judges, but Joshua Collier, artistic director of Barn Opera and an acclaimed opera singer, was visibly enchanted by her work and asked her to help identify some of her works to publicize the 2019 program for Barn Opera, the theme of which is “Love.” This proved to be an easy and rewarding collaboration, and the next performance by Barn Opera, “Carmen,” which is set to open May 17 at Brandon Music, features Amend’s work on all publicity.

Amend began her professional career as a teacher of Spanish and a professional violinist. She has always loved travel, but began to realize that she needed a hobby. By chance, she took a drawing and painting class taught by Robert Huntoon and the rest, as they say, is history. She became entranced with painting and drawing and chose watercolors as her favored medium. Her training as a musician prepared her for the discipline needed to master watercolors and to convey her ideas in her artwork.

Amend confesses that learning to paint taught her how to see. She explains, “I never looked so deeply before as when I started wondering how to paint what I was seeing. Painting becomes both a microscope and a telescope.”

Amend sees mystery in the world, and is keen to convey that sense in her art. Thanks to the soft edges that watercolor creates in wet paper, colors intermingle and shapes merge and disappear. These “lost edges” suggest the shifting thresholds between image and reflection, between an entity and its surroundings, between the present and the past.

Many appreciators of Amends’ work describe it as “ethereal.” There is no doubt that when Amend is creating her art works she is aiming to capture the mystery behind and within the everyday through her use of luminous watercolor.

Amends’ exhibit, “Lost Edges” will be on display in the Compass Music and Arts Center Exhibition Hall from May 10 to the end of June, with an opening reception at 5 p.m. Friday, May 10. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday; call 802-247-4295 or go online to The Compass Center is at 333 Jones Drive, Park Village.

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