Interview with Visionary/Inter-Dimensional Artist Amanda Sage: Self Exposure
The visionary artist, (and Colorado native) Amanda Sage, returns to the Front Range this weekend for the opening of her exhibition ‘Self Exposure’ at Knew Conscious Gallery in Denver. A reception will be held this Saturday, February 11, from 8—11pm. Her works can be viewed, during business hours or by appointment, until March 3rd.
I am aware that you spent your early childhood in Florida, without the rigidity of formal schooling, which allowed for creative freedom and exploration. Would you, please, tell me more about growing up with such unrestricting, imaginative liberty?
Being given the freedom to play and build dreams through weaving inner fantasy worlds with my brothers and friends, within a safe environment, nurtured my creativity extensively. It was magical, and it was all I knew.
I remember drawing many floor plans of houses and buildings; I was very interested with placement and order. There was also a short period when I went through a phase of drawing mermaids being chased by sea monsters. I taught myself to read—with a little help from parents and other adults—and it was from my own personal interest that I was driven to read. Once I had unlocked the code, I read anything I could get my hands on.
When I was five years old, a friend of my mother’s knelt down next to me and asked if I saw any colors around my mother’s head (she was about twenty feet away, looking at some cards on a stand). It was the first time anyone had ever asked me something like that, and I remember looking over at her and telling him that I did see colors around her head. Then I realized that I could see colors around everyone. That faded away when I went into school, in the fourth grade, and I became preoccupied with fitting in and being social. Though I don’t see colors around everyone like I did then, I do think that I reconnect with that vision through my painting now.
You attended the Shining Mountain Waldorf School in Boulder, CO, where you studied under the tutelage of the Fantastic/Visionary artist Hikaru. How did your educational background influence your artistic expression?
I went to SMWS from 4th—12th grade. My class teacher, Dawn Diehl, was a great influence on me with her enthusiasm and love for the arts. I remember, in 7th grade, she showed us how to shade a face with a colored pencil. It was an incredible revelation for me. We also made ornately decorated lesson books that took the place of textbooks. Those tasks were important steps in developing a continual process of drawing and making things ‘look nice’. The practice helped me cultivate my hand-eye coordination, and I discovered that it was quite easy for me to re-produce drawings an images I saw, like that of a flower or a butterfly. I found that I often, if not always, would be pleased with the result, as well as the experience making it.
Hikaru was my art teacher in the 11th and 12th grades. He was very supportive and provoked me to pursue the visual arts. He also introduced me to works by the Fantastic Realists, such as the artist Ernst Fuchs, whom I Synchro-Mystically became an assistant to, on and off, for ten years.
What do you view as the importance of arts in education?
I see the arts as being incredibly necessary in education. All of the arts—each area of creative expression—be it theater, music, visual art or movement. Creativity is essential for the innovation of ideas and it promotes happiness in individuals. We all need outlets for our deepest feelings and questions, and art is a great facilitator for that; it takes us out of our heads and into the realm of feeling. Living in a society where the left-brain is king, it is imperative to allow the right-brain to exercise equally, if not more. This ultimately gives meaning to our expressions, and can help us understand ourselves—and this experience—through another lens.
After graduating from the Waldorf School, you traveled the globe to places such as Austria, Bali and Indonesia. How have your journeys shaped you as an artist?
As everything, and everyone, leaves some sort of imprint, my experiences in other cultures have deepened every part of myself, and therefore my work. However, the experience of getting to know another culture, another language, diet and a different way of thinking has been something that has deepened and enhanced my respect and admiration for the human spirit.
I feel that traveling helps show one a greater appreciation for humanity, giving us repetitive examples of how interconnected we are. I am fascinated by the diversity in cultures and people, and it has been a major part of shaping who I am today. I consider myself a citizen of the world, and intend to travel much more extensively as an Ambassador of the creative Spirit. Breaking down walls of separation—driven in part by the ease of physical and cyber-spacial travel—we are at a juncture where creative and empowered people will begin to stand up in mass numbers, supporting each other through innovative and sustainable solutions.
For more than ten years you have participated in solo and group shows around the world. What are some of the most memorable exhibitions in which you have participated or presented?
My first exhibition was in 2001, at the Ernst Fuchs Museum in Vienna. He even opened the show, himself, with over 300 people in attendance. Then, I went on to do a couple more solo shows in Europe, one at the Economic University in Vienna with 78 pieces, and one in a huge insurance company building with around 80 works of mine. It was incredibly ambitious and pretty much insane to try and pull off these shows. Without the help and support from some of my friends, I never would have been able to do it.
I also had a very exciting solo show in a gallery in Germany during an incredible renaissance festival. The gallery was in the midst of the old part of the city that was transformed into a medieval town, and the fun, constant flow of people made for a memorable time.
I had observed, through the Internet, that the highest concentration of artists and events that I found intriguing were in the US. Bringing my work to Burning Man, in 2007, was the beginning of a whole new segment of my life…a beautiful wave, which I am still riding high. I slipped right into the Visionary Art movement, as an integral member. Bridging worlds between the old and the new, it is a great honor to exhibit with these modern masters. I am grateful to be a part of a family that is here to raise the vibration of this planet through opening hearts and minds, sharing visual expansion as a form of prayer.
I believe that such communities play a great role in offering a ‘trading post’ or gathering space for people drawn to transformation and spiritual evolution.
The art becomes a catalyst for connections and conversations between people, evoking personal growth and a sense of collective spirit.
Your biography states that you utilize art as a tool for personal, spiritual and planetary growth and transformation. Would you be so kind as to elaborate on this thought for our readers?
Art is a medium through which I have space to explore freely the limitless realms of the imagination. Many hours are invested into one painting, and during that time I dream and dream, and paint and paint. It is a form of active meditation, and to experience the reaction of others is the most gratifying and affirming part of the whole experience.
Currently, I am driven by the dream of a train that will be a catalyst for self-empowerment. It is undeniable that we are in tumultuous times, and it is time to take personal responsibility for how our actions and thoughts shape the world in which we live. I do not feel that my role in this change is to protest, but rather see a train filled with infinite possibilities, inspiring a new wave of consciousness, spreading the seed of awakening in it’s flowing wake.
You recently returned to the Waldorf School to teach a workshop entitled ‘Painting with Light.’ What was it like to come back and have the tables turned, student turned instructor?
Oh it was incredible! Such a natural and special experience! It feels wonderful to be able to support another individual growing into a new skill, or refining an old one. Helping people to open themselves to an expanded perception of reality and watching the gears churn and the ideas fall into place is a sincerely gratifying experience. To be doing so in the place where I built the foundation for what I know today, with some of the people that were there to help me back then, brought a great dose of enjoyment into the workshop!
Finally, what words of wisdom do you have for aspiring artists?
First of all, don’t give up. And do not settle for less than personal satisfaction in your own work. Seek and refine skills to give the creative flow more freedom of expression. One of the most important lessons I learned from Ernst Fuchs, which I still use as a mantra while I paint, is to learn how to quiet the mind and listen to the painting.
In addition to being sold as the poster art on their current tour much of Amanda’s art is being used in projection visualizualizations during Papadosio‘s sets.