Woofs and Hoofs Art
As Amy Wilson- Stronks describes it, "Art can be a complex subject." The definition of "art " encompasses several themes. One suggests that art is "making or creating something that is beautiful or expresses important ideas or feelings" (Cambridge Dictionary). Components of that definition include that what is created is "created with imagination and skill." Another definition expresses art as "a skill acquired by experience, study, or observation." (Merrium Webster) A second Merrium Webster definition defines art as "the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects". Wikipedia further slices and dices how one may define art by explaining, "the word art may refer to several things: (i) a study of a creative skill, (ii) a process of using the creative skill, (iii) a product of the creative skill, or (iv) the audience's experience with the creative skill." ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art accessed 6/14/23)
Woofs and Hoofs Art is less complicated and inspired by the farm, its animals, and the natural world in which the farm relies. At midlife Amy Wilson-Stronks was fortunate to find herself living on a 40 acre farm in Southwest Michigan with her husband, four horses, 8 goats, 2 emus, many chickens, 2 ducks, 2 bunnies, 4 cats, the occasional donkey and always at least 2 dogs. Her self described "Midlife Cowgirl" phase also began a serious return to the studio where she began paintings inspired by the world around her. Her studio was in the large barn where many of their animals were housed. From that studio she imagined and created, using and developing her skill to share emotion and feeling through her work. While emotions and feelings can be complicated, her goal is simplicity.
"For me, art is feeling and emotion. I love the color in the world, and I try to bring it forward in my work. I also imagine a better world. Sometimes the canvas (or the window glass or wood panel on which I work) allows me to paint a prettier picture than that which is in front of me. I like my artistic license."
- Amy Wilson-Stronks, Artist
Amy's work is solidly driven by the farm. Her two most popular series of work are the subjects of "Barn" and "Animal Squares." Animal Squares started as quick portraits of the animals on the Michigan farm, with mind bubbles showing exactly what was on each animal's mind. Animal Squares were popular with their farm stay guests. Then friends wanted portraits of their own horses or dogs, and they wanted to know what their animals were saying. Amy was able to figure it out!
"Animals are amazing. Nothing beautiful in any of their images is made up. Each and every one of the animals I have had the pleasure to represent in art is an amazing and beautiful creature with a brilliant personality. All animals have something interesting to say. We just have to listen."
-Amy Wilson-Stronks, Artist
The barn series began as an assignment while Amy was studying at the Krasl Art Center in St. Joseph MI. Barn, 2017 was completed as a hard line abstraction and shown in some local displays. Amy found the process of hard line abstraction so enjoyable that she decided to do another barn, but changed the color palette. Then she decided to do a third barn using oils. Then she wanted to add a fence to the composition. And so on. The barns are all renditions of their Michigan barn, though no two are the same.
In March 2023 Amy and her husband relocated to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Good bye frozen water tanks and 3 foot snow drifts!!!! Their horses are now boarded at a lovely farm that they do not own (hence someone else cleans the stalls). Her muse is no longer one single barn, but the array of interesting barns and pastures of North Carolina. She continues to add to her Barn and Pasture Series.
For Amy art is creative therapy. Just as she and her husband enjoyed sharing their farm through their farm stay Woofs and Hoofs Ranch, Amy enjoys sharing what she hopes is a pleasant viewing experience through her art. Enjoy the what you see on these pages, and if you have any questions or comments, please contact Amy at email@example.com
She will be happy to hear from you and respond to answer any questions!
When not creating art with paint, fibers, clay, and other various materials, Midlife Cowgirl Amy can be found engaged in the "art" of horsemanship with one of her three horses.
Pictured here with her gelding Dexter.
The Woofs and Hoofs Barn in Sodus, MI