I was raised by my grandparents in coastal southern California, and we were always on the water. The sea and fishing had been part of our family's heritage since long before my Azorean Portuguese ancestors immigrated to the U.S. in the 1800s. I was a child obsessed with seeing and learning about all the different species of marine creatures, and drawing animals was my favorite means of entertaining myself from a very early age. Sometimes on our trips to the sea we would come across Pacific bottlenose dolphins, or even a California grey whale, and I would nearly pass out from excitement, then spend hours drawing them after we returned home.
I spent my childhood evenings enchanted by PBS Nature, Nova, National Geographic, and Jacques Cousteau VHS tapes from the library. I spent my hard-earned allowance on books about marine animals, and school supplies printed with dolphins and fish. My grandparents made sure I kept drawing and painting my creatures, and they pinned my neverending scribbles all over the walls of house.
As far as inspiration goes, I owe all the credit to Grandma and Grandpa for all of their encouragement, and for raising me to cherish the wild world. Their love of sharing the adventure of the coastal wilderness with me was the forge for my artistic ability. My journey was very difficult after my grandparents passed on, but they were tough as nails and raised me to persevere. The artwork that they kindled proved to be my inner source of peace; creating art was joy and preserved memories in my best times, and it helped me heal though my worst times. Whenever I couldn't afford art supplies I kept drawing and painting with whatever was available to me, and this was the cause of my eclectic choice of medium. Pencils, pens, crayons, watercolor, acrylic, oil, charcoal, ink, clay, dirt, whatever I've got - I'll figure it out and put it to good use!
I crossed the continent to the Treasure Coast of Florida in 2012, where my professional art career began with a small collection of marine life paintings, a boatload of dedication, and a budget of pretty much $0.00. Support for my creations from art collectors both locally and online made all the difference - everyone who owns a piece of my artwork (everything from original paintings to my little stationary cards!) holds a piece of an artist's dream come true, I am eternally grateful.
The local marine wildlife of the Treasure Coast has become quite the muse, sparking the same magical sense of wonder I felt as a kid. I see wild dolphins almost every time I kayak in the Indian River Lagoon, and can tell who’s who by the nicks on their dorsal fins and flukes. The tropical characters all around me have made their mark in my collection of ocean art. As a fully self-taught artist, my style has evolved naturally through the twists and turns of my life, and now that I am sharing my journey with the world one can watch it continue to evolve as new inspirations strike.
The ocean has been a lifelong friend to me, and as my art career advances I intend for the conservation message in my work to evolve into something much more. The ocean is the source of my fondest memories, it provided my family with food, it was a source of comfort, hope, and inspiration though times of hardship and loss, and in it I see my future.
I paint because I love to create.
I paint for Papa Red and Gramma Geri.
I paint because I love the wild, and I want to show its amazing inhabitants to the world through my eyes.
"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." - Jacques Yves Cousteau
Past • Present • Future
by the artist, Amber "Marine" Rose
Follow Amber (@AmberMarineArt)
~ Publications ~
• Conservation International - Save the Vaquita Day in Hong Kong 2017 (Photos coming soon!)
• Porpoise Conservation Society - Vaquita Awareness and Adoption Art 2015-2017
~ Blog Links ~