AMY TILLOTSON is a contemporary visual artist. Growing up in Milwaukee, Tillotson began her studies in Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She later transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Stout, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Art with a concentration in product design.
Tillotson’s abstract art is influenced by her past profession as an exhibit, set and graphic designer. Working primarily in mixed media, many of her abstract landscapes are envisioned from an aerial perspective like the floor plans she drafted as a designer. Her artwork can imbue architectural and map-like qualities, while collaged papers and mark making add a graphic dynamic to her work.
Tillotson has exhibited regionally in both solo and group shows. She has been involved as a member, protégé and program leader of the Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota (WARM) Mentor/Protégée program. She has served on the Board for ArtStart, a St. Paul non-profit organization focusing on arts education and the environment, participated in the Minneapolis Institute of Art’s Art Adventure Program and volunteered as secretary and committee member for St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church’s Undercroft Gallery, overseeing six art exhibitions annually.
Amy Tillotson works from her home studio in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
I have always felt that I look at things a bit differently than other people. Maybe it’s an overt awareness of light, shadow, pattern; bits of magic in front of all of us waiting to be seen. I find most of my inspiration while walking in nature and in my neighborhood. Camera phone in hand, I collect images of cracks in the pavement, spider webs, tree roots, branches, positive and negative spaces, a repeating pattern of windows on the side of a building or a cast shadow broken by a disrupted surface. All act as my muse.
I am a mixed-media visual artist. I enjoy experimenting with and “cross-pollinating” materials and techniques. Painting, drawing, collage, cut paper and deconstructive screen printing, are just some of the methods used in my work. Mixed media satisfies my need for depth of layers, dimension and translucency.
My prior career as an exhibit designer taught me to see spacial relationships from a plan view or aerial perspective. Architectural references and map-like qualities are inherent in my work. I utilize my fondness for unique materials, textures and patterns to create visual metaphors of imaginary places.
My work is process driven but only to the extent of my attention span. I like to be in the moment, trusting my instincts as I work. I prefer quick marks, keeping the work raw for as long as possible. Each mark gives life to the surface, as it both hides and reveals the previous layer, creating a dialog of action and reaction. I strive to keep the piece alive with energy and spirit until it declares its independence and is ready to carry on a new exchange with the viewer.
Making art gives me an endless sense of purpose and is the most effective channel to express my creative self.