Amy Hutto is an acrylic and mixed media artist living in Bath, New York. She specializes in works filled with vivid color, bold textures, and unique renderings of traditional subjects. Her work can be found at Aspen and Evergreen Gallery in Estes Park, and The Leigh Gallery in Chicago.
I am a lover of color…all colors. When my daughter was younger she would always ask me what my favorite color was and I could never give her an answer, because, they’re all my favorites. It’s just a matter of which ones are my favorites in the moment that I’m creating. I think this comes across in my work as spontaneity, which I like. The other thing I try to do is create a lot of texture in my work, no matter the subject. To me, the textures create interest and depth in the layers. I can see other colors peeking out from under a scribble, or my palette knife sweeps across and lifts or deposits colors along the way. In that way, color and texture are intertwined in my work. For me, it’s difficult to have one without the other.
As an artist, and as a person, I am the sum of my encounters, big and small. From early experiences with my father who was an artist as well as a teacher and cattle rancher- to the places I’ve been and will go, I gather those happenstances and they somehow become a part of my art; whether through the subject I choose, or the colors, or how I render my ideas. I’m often asked why purple elk, turquoise cows, or blue bears? My answer…why not? I’m not trying to depict my subjects as they exist in nature, but rather how they exist to me in that moment.
I was also an art teacher, like my father and my sister, and it was an important part of my development as an artist outside of the classroom. As I taught my students about Matisse, I fell in love with collage. That was my medium for many years and it really was like Matisse said, “…painting with scissors”. Although I still enjoy collage, my real passion has come in painting with acrylics.
I love the freedom acrylics bring. They allow me to be impulsive and work with energy, and that comes through in what I create. I can thank Van Gogh for that. His art could power a small city, there’s so much energy. I look to Klimt for my love of gold leaf, and Monet was the pioneer of color. All of these artists, who came before me, have left their mark on my work…like an invisible footprint. It’s what I’ve chosen to do with their influences that make my art unique.
In addition to acrylic paintings, I also work in mixed media. In a way, it’s like visiting an old love but inside knowing you’ve moved on. I call back to my days of collage and combine that with my new love of painting. When I’m working on a mixed media piece, anything goes. I print papers, paint them, cut and tear them; nothing is safe from finding its way into a mixed media piece of art. My family knows not to set anything down in my studio that they don’t want to see snippets of in my work.
At the end of it all, I want my art to make others happy, to make them think or look at things in a new way. Because, after-all, that’s what it does for me.