With her bold geometric designs, Amanda Whitworth brings a modern edge to the arts scene in San Diego. Sawing, staining, and painting a variety of woods, Whitworth creates pieces that capture the attention and draw the viewer into her patterns.
Despite fighting her second bout with cancer, Whitworth finds solace, purpose and direction in her art and encourages the creativity in everyone. PACIFIC recently connected with Whitworth to discover her inspiration and how she keeps pushing forward.
PACIFIC: How did you begin working with wood?
AMANDA WHITWORTH: It started two years ago, and it felt like a calling. The thought of it kept popping into my head. My dad was a carpenter, so I grew up around it and was always drawn to wood. I love the smell of sawdust. I became interested in power tools and started creating with wood.
How does inspiration strike? Is it drawn out first?
I have no rhyme to my reason. I usually know the size I want. I just put music on and start working and let it organically happen. It’s an intuitive process. From the look to the colors, I’m kind of on a whim.
So much of my message is about inspiring people to tap into who they are and live from there.
— Amanda Whitworth
Where do you source your wood?
Originally I wanted to use reclaimed, but it is too hard to come by. So I get all my wood at Home Depot. I use red oak, poplar and alder. The wood is very refined, so it makes the pieces look more finished.
Do you stain your own wood?
I stain and paint them. I am working toward my own dyes, in particular, vegetable dyes. I want to be as non-toxic as I can.
Were you always into arts and crafts?
As a kid I loved drawing and painting and always had a wild imagination. As I mentioned, my dad was a carpenter, and my mom is an interior designer, so I grew up around creative parents. As I learned about myself as a person, I tapped into who I am.
Were you trained in woodwork?
I just bought a saw and started doing it. I first started in November 2016.
How has your journey with cancer affected your artwork?
This is my second time with cancer. I was diagnosed in March 2017. They have both been part of the same journey. When I was diagnosed, all of these opportunities showed up. I haven’t been able to do as much, but it’s also given me the opportunity to slow down and figure out where I want to take this.
Where can locals see your work?
There is a large 6-foot by 8-foot piece in Caravan West on the corner of E Street (and South Coast Highway) in Encinitas, also on Instagram, and there is a website coming next month.
What’s up next for you?
I would love to teach classes about creativity and how to harness it. My art is me. Everyone has that inside of them, whatever the medium is. Being a creative means so many different things. I would love to help other people tap into their own creativity.