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AMANDA HATKEVICH

I was raised in Butler, Pennsylvania, surrounded by the woods and immersed in nature daily. I grew up picking wildflower bouquets, building clothesline forts, pulling weeds from the garden, and watching tadpoles grow into frogs. I loved to daydream and create using anything I could get my hands on, including scrap wood from the garage, sewing scraps from my mom, and the ends of newspaper rolls given away by the local newspaper. My love for art continued throughout elementary and high school, being inspired, and motivated by my teachers, Jason Shorr and Carol Bickel. The two of them so passionately loved art that there was no way I couldn’t absorb that passion and project it into my own creations. I went on to pursue my love for photography, while also obtaining my K-12 licensure to teach art at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. I graduated in 2012 with a BS in Art Education and a BFA in Photography. Just to note, Art Education was my backup plan. Ha! How quickly our plans and life change. Shortly after graduation, I accepted a teaching position in Southeast Arkansas 1200 miles from home, teaching kindergarten and middle school art. My now-husband accepted a teaching position at the same middle school and made the move with me. We married in 2013. During the time I lived and taught in Arkansas, I had the opportunity to take a week-long Art Teacher Intensive Studio Workshop, during the summer of 2014, at Henderson State University. Watercolorist, Richard Stephens, taught the Watercolor Workshop and in his class is where I fell in love with the medium. I continued to practice and play in watercolors at home, creating landscapes, animal portraits, airplanes, etc. You name it, I probably tried painting it. It wasn’t until my husband, son, and I moved back to Pennsylvania during the summer of 2015, that I started taking my art seriously. My husband had accepted a teaching position in Erie, PA and I planned to stay home with our first son, who was born at the beginning of 2015. One day, so frustrated by what I had created, I took to destroying my painting. My sewing machine was within eyesight, so naturally I took my watercolor paper painting and stitched right over top of the paint. I spent the next few weeks experimenting with sewing directly on my paintings, which is where my style was born. Since then, I have experimented with stitching watercolor paintings on paper, stitching through acrylic on canvas, and stitching through fabric paint on various fabrics. I have tried stitching and portraits, animals, florals, still lives, architecture, food, and much more. This has been such a fun, playful, experimental, yet therapeutic process for me. I find inspiration in the little things, the quiet moments of nature, the grief of lost loved ones, and the joys of my childhood.