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A Dose of inspiration

Caramie SchnellVail, CO Colorado
AE Amy Dose 1 DT 5-9-07
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The newest arrival to Eagle artist Amy Dose’s studio is a 6-foot tall metal-gray-colored boot. The giant cowboy accoutrement was delivered to her Eagle townhouse this week, and over the next few weeks, she’ll cover it in acrylic paint. Dose is one of 12 local artists chosen to paint the oversize cowboy boots for the upcoming Boots on Broadway display. At the end of the summer, the boots will be auctioned off for charity. As to what Dose is going to paint on her blank boot, she’s tightlipped.”I have a great idea, but I don’t think I want to share it with everyone,” she said grinning.As owner of Flying Shoe Arts in Eagle, Dose has painted panel murals for stores like Gorsuch Fly Fisherman in Eagle and the Smiling Moose restaurants, and she’s gearing up to paint a mural in the Avon Rec Center. For her business Dose often faux -paints walls or switch plates to match a granite or wood back drop. “I think I’m best at copying things – that’s where the faux comes in,” she says. Despite the satisfaction those projects give Dose, it’s not where her true passion lies.

Aboriginal inspirationThe Memphis native finds the most gratification in layering paint on canvas. A dozen sheets of paper – inspiration – are pinned to the wall in Dose’s converted-garage art studio. There are brightly colored traditional Bonnard paintings interspersed with full-page photos of spouting volcanos from National Geographic , a mountainside dotted with small wildfires and magnified pictures of pollen spores that resemble otherworldly creatures found in the dark depths of the sea. In one corner are snapshots of rudimentary sidewalk drawings her young daughter Ella drew last summer. At the time Ella scratched out the chalk drawings, Dose was reading a book on aboriginal art. Some of the things in the book were very similar to Ella’s chalk art, Dose said.”I was like ‘oh my God, it’s so innate, so raw in our human experience.’ To me these drawings are really moving.”Next to the random magazine pages and snapshots that serve as her inspiration is Dose’s new series. Each painting is made up of two or more canvases paired together – usually one canvas sticks out further than the other, giving the overall piece a three-dimensional feel. Some acrylic paintings have a collage feel, a face or a forest scene that Dose has incorporated into the piece. A diamond-patterned floor in one of Bonnard’s paintings appealed to Dose, and there’s a similar pattern in a painting that prominently features a caged bird. The series is yet to be named – generally, it’s not until the paintings are all finished that Dose takes a step back and searches out the thread that connects them, she said. It’s usually then that a name comes to her. Once the canvases are finished Dose said she’ll likely try to show them in town (she’s had shows at the Avon Library and Loaded Joe’s in the past) or possibly in Memphis, where she’s from.

Buddhist beginings Dose was part of the first generation of students to study painting and graduate from Naropa University in Boulder – the only accredited Buddhist-inspired school in the country, Dose said. There were 12 students in her class and a total of six professors in the department. This July, Dose and her mother will spend a week at the campus participating in a painting workshop/retreat. The week will serve as a moment to refresh and recharge – something that’s important for Dose since she spends her days painting other people’s homes and businesses. It can be difficult for her to stay inspired – to want to come home and pick up the paint brush after holding one all day, she said.”But I know my skills have gotten better from (painting) every day,” she said.”My art is a life journey – I have my whole life to get better.”

In Ella’s bedroom a giant Peter Pan figure greets you, and in the corner a lush green tree grows up the wall and onto the ceiling. Ella has already put in her requests for mom’s next painting – she wants Pocahontas peeking out from one corner. “I tell her maybe after I get the wall touched up,” Dose said, nodding towards whites splotches on one wall. Caramie Schnell can be reached at 748-2984 or cschnell@vaildaily.com.


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