With the signage industry rapidly declining in the last few decades, many cities across America are now concerned with preserving and restoring their historic neon signs. I feel that I contribute to the conservation of these vintage signs by documenting them on two-dimensional surfaces using oil paint as my medium. I aspire not only to capture the sometimes glowing glass tubing as a source of identifying what a building once was and/or continues to be, but I want to show that these signs are truly works of art unto themselves. Observing the finest of detail, I recreate the way the sunlight glistens off of a curve, or the range of transparencies the shadows of the tubing cast onto the painted letters of the surface below. These works of art are a continuation of my series of oil paintings entitled “Looking Up”, in which I hope to reveal a thing of beauty in an object that sits dormant against a boundless sky and is often only seen from a distance. With so much that gets overlooked in our everyday lives, it is important that we stop and preserve the treasures we already possess.
Amanda Hope Cook is a native of Nashville, Tennessee. Highly influenced and inspired by her father, artist Marion B. Cook, Amanda spent her first years immersed in learning the disciplines of painting and drawing. In 1994, she was awarded a scholarship to the Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio where she double majored in Fine Art and Illustration and minored in Visual Communications. Since graduating with a BFA in 1999, Amanda has consistently practiced fine art with oil painting as her primary medium. She is currently producing a series of representational urban paintings with landmark neon signs as their subject matter.