Amadea Bailey

Contemporary Expressionist Painter || Los Angeles, CA

I grew up in Africa riding horses in the bush, eating sugarcane by the side of the road and playing dress-up with banana leaves. I experienced a sense of freedom and abandon, and an immediate connection to the tactile, physical, and non-rational worlds. Now, as an adult, my paintings reconnect me to that awakened child of Africa.

I paint as an explorer going on a journey. I disappear into the unknown and dig for what will unravel and reveal itself: new images, new relationships, new ways of moving paint. Scraping, scratching, wiping, adding, subtracting. Inviting drips, stains, layering, accidents.

I am a deeply physical person. I love movement. In addition to painting, I run, surf, and dance. I paint on a large scale so I can feel my body moving across a big field. I paint because I love the tactile, sensual aspects: tearing, ripping, paper, paint, collage, plaster, glue. I crave the space for spontaneous gestures, for paint to swirl, and colors to collide. Cerulean, magenta, violet, and indigo.

I search for the image, and its proper place in the world around it. I allow words and images to appear, disappear, get buried, resurface. Words scrawled in black ink across a torn page. A pair of high heeled shoes, an hour glass, a hot air balloon. Two horses intertwined in a huge white field.

Sometimes this process happens magically, as if by accident. Sometimes it takes months of moving, playing, changing and editing before the total rhythm of the painting finds the resonance I seek, the moment of yes.

I thrive making order out of chaos. I love taking the irrational world of my emotions, hopes, fears, dreams, desires and idiosyncrasies and sculpting and re-arranging them in myriad ways until order is found. And paradoxically in this process my mind becomes still. I open myself up to something much bigger than myself. Decisions make themselves. Time melts away and I journey into an expansive universe, as wide as the Serengeti Plains. I enter a world of space and matter, building up my canvases with color and texture, recapturing the freedom and movement of my African childhood.