Meet the Artist: Amber Albritton

18th Century painter Wassily Kandinsky said it best: “Color is a power which directly influences the soul.” This notion has resounded with many artists before and after Kandinsky. That list includes Georgia O’Keefe, Frida Khalo, Henri Matisse, and Swainsboro’s very own Amber Albritton.

Albritton, 44, is a Swainsboro native, though she was raised in Albany. She has a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) from Valdosta State University, and she holds two Bachelor of Science degrees, one in political science and another in psychology, from two different institutions, Georgia Southwestern State University and the University of Georgia.

In addition to her academic accomplishments, Albritton is also a self-taught artist. She is the hands behind “Arting Around.”

“For as long as I can remember I have created art,” she explained. “Arting Around gradually grew into existence over the years. I had my first set of business cards created approximately 20 years ago.”

A specialty of Albritton’s is her one-of-a-kind mandala window art made with repurposed old windows. The windows are entirely unique and beautiful in their own way.

“As far as I can tell I am the only person anywhere who paints them in this fashion. I have scoured every platform and cannot find any in the world like mine.”

Windows may be her forte, but she really is a jack of all trades.

Albritton uses a wide variety of mediums and textiles. She paints everything from furniture to canvases and even sews. She likes to add a Bohemian (or “boho”) flair to her work with the use of an array of bright colors, patterns, and textures.

Recently, Albritton has tackled the art of making pillows.

“I make really cute and funky patchwork pillows. I absolutely love working with fabric. I simply purchased a sewing machine one day and taught myself how to use it, though I am definitely an amateur. I’m striving to sharpen my skills on the sewing machine so I can create amazing things with fabric. Learning how to re-upholster furniture is my next big goal.”

She also encourages people to buck minimalism. Albritton’s motto is, “Color is a way of life!” You can design an entire room around an amazing piece of colorful artwork. Everything can be tailored around that pop of color: from throw pillows, to a rug, to window treatments, all while keeping neutral wall colors. Great art with a personal connection is a wonderful addition to a home and makes for a nice conversation piece.

Every artist hits creative ruts and loses inspiration at times, but Albritton has an active solution to that common problem.

“I engage in a very creative process, often in an artistic stream of consciousness way. I am the ultimate creative; ideas are constantly swirling in my head and I make connections between ideas, combining and weaving them together or separating them out.

“Naturally, being an artist I am a huge fan of art! Justin Gaffrey is my favorite artist and several of my artistic friends inspire me a great deal as well. I also draw a lot of inspiration from nature; I love to paint abstract florals. I will often study a particular artist for a few months at a time, too. I am fascinated by Frida Kahlo and am currently taking a deep dive into her life story and art reading her biographies, diary, and examining her artwork.”

She continued, saying she is intentional about setting aside time in her schedule for her artistic endeavors—but she goes with the flow from time to time as well.

“I paint in the evenings, but what evenings I decide to paint are completely spontaneous! I may work on one piece all night or start several to be finished later. I sit and write down ideas while listening to music, walk around the art studio pulling out various mediums to use in the near future, and/or climb the ladder to the studio loft and reflect on past pieces and ponder what direction I want to go in next. I just go with whatever creative juices are flowing.”

Further, Albritton implores readers to support local artists.

“Does original artwork cost more? Yes. But think about what you’re getting: an individual piece of artwork that someone put love, time, thought, skill, and their soul into creating. You are getting a piece of someone. When you purchase from a local artist you are also putting money back into your community and helping that person provide for themself. That’s not a small thing.

On her mission to encourage others to buy locally, Albritton is especially accommodating to art appreciators who may not be able to afford her pieces.

“I always tell people if you see something of mine you like but cannot afford, please come talk to me and we will work something out. I will do everything in my power to put an original Arting Around piece in your home!”

Though she does take commissions on windows, Albritton usually likes to create organically, then put whatever she likes on the market. She stays active on her Facebook page, Arting Around, where her work can be purchased. She personally delivers her work up to four hours away.

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