“I call myself a Southern- Islander,” says Amber Doig. Her heart is in two places – Hawaii, Oahu, North Shore where her family roots has been since the 1800’s, and Tennessee, her other home base since 1985. Being a family of musicians, artists, and song writers, Nashville was a natural choice, not an unfamiliar story for many who fall in love with Tennessee and discover it’s history, music, natural beauty and southern hospitality.
Raised in a family of five children by a mother who took her children on all her worldwide travels introduced Amber to many cultures, philosophy’s, and a deep appreciation for the creative vitality and diversity of life. After graduating from Belmont University Massey School of Business, Amber set up a family Christian Financial planning practice in Franklin, Tennessee where she worked, lived and raised her two sons alongside her husband Eric. Fifteen years later an opportunity allowed her to realize a dream of expanding her practice between Hawaii and Tennessee, since then she has divided her time between the Islands and the South.
Having been raised in a home of love, laughter, faith, and music where she, along with her brothers and sisters, were always encouraged and told they could do anything and everything was the fuel to interesting pursuits and adventures. She credits this attitude as, “my mother’s legacy to us”, to believe anything was possible. Eventually managing a flourishing financial planning practice, she loved helping people realize their dreams and goals.
“The Artist in me expressed itself more in the entrepreneurial arena in my early twenties and thirties.” She opened an import and export business of fine arts and appreciable home furnishing. She traveled the world on buying trips. This allowed her to explore art from the collector’s perspective. When family responsibilities transitioned and her children became more independent, she was able to devote more time to writing poetry, short stories, painting and drawing. To her, the story and the process is just as important as the finished work of art.
One summer in Italy while traveling on an art sojourn, she had the opportunity to study under Matthew Daub, a pure water colorist, from Philadelphia. She was encouraged to pursue more serious and formal concentration across other mediums and from there continued to study: working new techniques in water color, pastels, and semi ink painting. She credits Wayne Takazano, a master artist in Honolulu, Hawaii for his invaluable instruction and encouragement in charcoal and graphite techniques. A few years later after being accepted by Snowden Hodges for a summer intensive Atelier Program through the Windward Campus at the University of Hawaii Art Department, learning the skills and techniques of the old masters, added to a love of portraiture and oil painting from life. Interpreting “Light” and “Shadow” gave her new eyes to see. She regularly travels and attends collective workshops like Art in The Carolinas, workshops abroad to England, France and Italy in a group setting. She feels that to paint the ocean you really have to have a connection to that ocean and what better way than to be in front of it.
Amber’s works are in private collections both in Hawaii and around the world. Her paintings are mostly private commissions. She is working on getting a website presence and more recently exhibited at the Tennessee Art League in Nashville, Tennessee. She likes to concentrate on painting in a series, using various mediums to present landscapes, portraits, or figurative drawings. She gathers materials and finds wonderful subjects just walking around with her camera, eventually moving the image to canvas. Expressive portraiture, as she calls it, opposed to still life portraiture, gives her the opportunity to capture the living essence of her subjects. The face, or action, must have a story to tell, whether elated joy, affection, or a candid moment caught unawares.
When she starts a project, she begins with the concept, concentrating on all the aspects of the vision, yet she says other projects like a scene done “Au Plein Air” takes on its own energy and can be spontaneous in development. Leaning towards a representational style in her work, any abstract elements are shared by the viewer and their interpretation. She uses her planner techniques building the inventory of a project in the planning and gathering stage, often shooting many angles of her subjects to capture the best light and mood as well as incorporating sketches to translate the feeling, values or physical form. The lighting, color and forms are important for the energy and reflection.
“My most energizing subjects and stories are ones which reflect humanity and the human experience. They have to evoke memories, scenes from journeys to other countries or the people I know. I like to work from the positive side of a project across all mediums, either watercolor, ink, pastel, charcoal, oil as well as mixed media collectibles. In other words, I combine the medium with the expression to demonstrate or paint a project that will inspire enthusiasm. I ask, purposely, where is there beauty and awe or that ingredient that causes us to be amazed? Where are the places we find peace and joy. To me, it’s in our friends and family and the new people we encounter in our daily life. Their smiles, hopes, dreams, and challenges are valuable contributions to the finished work. The essence of life, in people, is never static rather it’s expansively quantum, dynamic and multi-faceted. I also appreciate places of community-parks, hiking trails any non-organized recreation, main streets, and central gathering places. These centers are what I see as the back bone of industry for the entrepreneurial spirit-the adventure of creation. It requires great forces of perseverance and power to drive a dream into reality. That has always fascinated me and inspired m, to make something invisible, visible, as you imagine a concept you can feel space expanding around you to make room. Some of my favorite words are hope, faith, vision, dream, create, believe, imagine, persevere, and relish. When we are able to use art to bring the invisible in to the visible, it is a time of supernatural exchange. Something in thought or vision is transferred from the canvas of our mind to the artist canvas and that power captures us all. It’s magic!
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Category: Entertainment, Arts & Recreation