Who am I? Fair question.
My name is Amanda Kennedy and I’ve been working in Healesville since 2003 in varying capacities. I am also an emerging artist and I never stop enjoying the easy access to such fabulous quality food and fresh produce that’s available in the Yarra Valley. Like most artists, I prefer to work with real life models and this gorgeous fruit and veggie produce has inspired a series of watercolour gift cards, aprons and napkins. The originals are being framed by a talented framer friend, also located in Healesville, and are available for sale locally.
My inherent love of colour draws me to the diverse beauty of fruit and vegetables and, despite being an artist for over 20 years, watercolours are a new medium for me and it’s the perfect way to capture the shapes, texture and colour of fresh produce.
A year ago, I took a small watercolour set away with me on holidays. After dabbling in some tropical landscapes – which revealed not to be my thing – I focussed in smaller, worked with flowers, and liked what I saw. Once back home in Australia, this study turned to more known and loved subjects – food! Twenty years as an artist, as a passionate foodie and in a food and hospitality career, the inevitable combination of food and art have created my whimsical range.
I have a genuine visceral need to create, to paint, to play. I can’t not do it. Life is always better when I don’t fight this need.
It’s actually a glorious time to be alive with the ability to capture any moment on my phone’s camera, post a blog entry whilst on the go yet still revert to my pencil and sketch book for capturing ideas. For me, it’s important to get out of the studio, into galleries, people watch at a cafe, follow threads online, dream wildly, stop in the street and look up – because I never know when I’m going to come across something that sticks in my mind demanding to be addressed.
Why am I working with Australian Wine Tour Company?
I’ve been fortunate to know these guys for many years and I admire people who turn their passion into a business. I was asked by their director, Matt Noble, to produce some small watercolour artworks for them to use in their marketing. Matt wants to bring together the natural partners of art, food and wine of the Yarra Valley.
In operation for over 16 years in Victoria, they’ve seen the food and wine scene getting better and better. They also recognise that such a scenic region deserves to be shared and that’s why their mission is to broaden their audience beyond just wine lovers.
During my time working in the Yarra Valley, I have discovered that many of my customers are in the food/wine industry and a surprising number of them are also creatives. One who manages a winery cellar door is also an accomplished photographer. One who ran a small preserve making business is also a freelance writer. A fellow retail employee turned out to be a very talented framer.
So now I’m connecting with these people, discovering the intricate web of how food, wine and art comes together for Yarra Valley locals. Through this blog I will be sharing these insights with you, dear readers, so you too get to share in the hidden delights of this little corner of the earth. Come with me on this journey…