Naturally Unexpected Ami Brown showcases her unexpected art at the LCAC story by Carla Edstrom I am thrilled this month to be writing about my multi talented artist friend and editor of Southport and Leland Magazines, Ami Brown.
Sometimes in life you meet someone and you just know that they are going to be a friend. Such is the case of when I met Ami a few years ago at Franklin Square Gallery in Southport. I was instantly drawn in by her positive kind-hearted nature. I remember us having a discussion in my pottery studio about her being a freelance writer and how I always wanted to do that but I didn’t feel like I had the enough education or experience for writing professionally. And I hadn’t written anything for so long, I thought it was just a pipe dream I would never fulfill. She told me that I should just do it and encouraged me to start writing again. Not long after that, Ami became the editor of Southport Magazine and the next thing I knew, she asked me to write for the magazine. I will always be grateful that she took a chance on me as a writer. With her abundant creativity and her fearless ability to pull amazing ideas out of thin air, Ami never ceases to amaze me. Being a multi-media artist, writer and overall creative person is nothing new to her, and it’s always been part of who she is. “I remember taking art classes as a child, I loved drawing animals and nature, flowers, trees, birds,” she explained. “As I got older I started drawing and painting people. I took a portrait painting class at Michaels and I absolutely loved it,” she said. “Writing and painting are my two passions and I feel lucky to have them both as my “real” job,” said Ami. “It hardly feels like I am actually working! I guess my creativity has always been part of what I love doing,” she said. “I was the editor of my High School paper and I have always loved to write. I started helping my brother-in-law with his web content several years ago, and I kind of fell back in love with writing. When I moved to Southport in 2015, I reached out to the magazine and was hired as one of the freelance writers, and now I am the editor. I absolutely love that I can meet the people in the area and write about community and events here.” Ami’s art is always growing as she finds inspiration everywhere in ordinary things. “My favorite thing to do is to just start out with a rough idea, and then start painting and it always changes,” she said. “It evolves and goes somewhere new, and somewhere exciting. And I love that about painting abstracts,” said Ami. “I love to take photos of random objects, rusted bolts, peeling paint, an old broken piece of wood, and look at it up close,” she said. She explained that she loves to focus on a section of an object and paint just that part, such as a couple paintings she made of rusted bolts that were on the Oak Island pier a few years ago. “I am inspired by the simplest of things really.” Using mostly oil and acrylic paints, Ami also uses other elements of style in her painting such as textures and gloss finishes. “When I do commissions, I am pretty open to content, but I do use oil and acrylic, depending on what I am painting,” said Ami. “If it’s a large abstract, then I’ll use oil. If it’s an animal or portrait I will generally use acrylic, just so it can dry faster. I like to incorporate other types of paint and high gloss on certain areas to make the image more interesting,” she explains. “I was given a set of oil paints when I was about 17 years old from an Aunt and I fell in love with how oil paint moves and blends colors. Something you can’t really do with acrylics or watercolor,” she explains. “I recently took an alcohol ink class and loved that too.” Ami recently won first place in the Oak Island Sea to Shore Exhibition for her alcohol ink flower painting. Another big inspiration of Ami’s art is birds. As a volunteer for Sea Biscuit Wildlife Center on Oak Island, she gets to care for and observe the birds’ behavior weekly. Ami’s love of nature is apparent in her paintings, from her colorful alcohol ink flower tiles to her large paintings of whimsical frogs and birds. “I love how nature and the elements create beautiful patterns, colors and textures,” she said. Having her roots scattered all over the East Coast, Ami is happy to now make Southport her home. “I am definitely drawn to water, and have always loved to be near the ocean and water,” she said. “I lived in New Zealand for 10 1/2 years. I opened my own art gallery while I was there and loved it. The gallery gave me the confidence really to explore all kinds of painting.” Ami has been working hard to create work for her featured artists show at the Leland Community Arts Center July 6-August 3rd, with her artist reception July 12th from 6-8pm. “The title of the exhibition is “Naturally Unexpected,” Ami explained. “I created artworks based around nature, but with some kind of twist, something unexpected. I mean how many bowls of fruit are there anyway? Have you ever seen piglets in a bathtub? Well you will!” Her show in July isn’t the only featured show she will have this summer. You can also see Ami’s art at the Wine Rack in Southport during the entire month of August. And Ami promises that this show will be totally different from the show in Leland. And with all of her creativity, I have no doubt it will be fantastic!