My name is Amanda Miller-Mulvaney, and I make research paintings.
What on earth is a research painting?
It's the end result of research, sort of like a research paper, but instead of writing down what I've learned, I paint about it. I do a bit of writing in the paintings themselves, excerpts of articles, really cool scientific words, etc. Much like writing a research paper, my process involves choosing a topic and learning all about it. As I go along I am not making notes for a paper, but crafting a painting with line drawings to represent the subject and actual excerpts of text written so small it just looks like shading from a distance.
I am an Idaho-born artist, now living and working in Virginia.The inspiration for a painting comes from running across a new and fascinating topic. For example, did you know there used to be mammals called Indricotheres that were basically 7 foot tall rhinoceroses? Yep. Had to paint about that one. Couldn't believe I'd never heard of it before. Or have you really delved into what coral reefs are and how they work? Or how important they are to the oceans? I have an in-progress series about them.
The topic can come from the real world or mythology. So long as it is interesting, it can spark a painting. Science, mythology, history, it's all potential painting material.
If you sign up for the newsletter, you'll get in-progress photos of the pieces I am currently painting, and a link to any gripping articles I'm reading from and using for research. I come across some fascinating articles in my searches, and I hope to give you a few "Whoa!" moments.
If you love learning about strange and wonderful things, or love gaining a new appreciation for things that are pretty commonplace, but turn out to be astoundingly complex, I'd say you should try out the newsletter. If you love art with plenty of color, abstraction, and details that draw you in until your nose bumps the surface, then you should sign up, too, and then go straight to the artwork link and take a look. I love tiny details; they're like hidden treasure reserved for those willing to take a closer look. I have small handwriting and I put snippets of articles into the pieces sometimes.