She goes by AD, short for Amelia Drane Maddox, born in Nashville, Tennessee. But in spirit, AD Maddox has an outgoing presence matched with an introvert’s intense focus on creating art that impacts our senses. As she says, doing fine art is not a team sport and now, after half a century of age and at the peak of her creative powers, painting for long hours is her favorite muse.
How to paint water from the point of view of being on the inside with fish? Think about it for a moment.
Maddox is best known for making stunning artwork depictions of trout and horses. Some of them are big, bold and full of color, possessing almost a Pop Art quality (which has made his originals in huge demand among young collectors). Other visions, particularly his recent pieces – several of which are due to be unveiled on Friday June 24 at his annual party in Livingston – appear to be about fish. But it’s really about conveying the illusion of effects that have captivated painters since the Renaissance.
Maddox is quick to acknowledge that this latest series pushes the boundaries of hyper-photo-realism to the limit, to the point that while some may react in disbelief to the use of photographs as reference material, if one dispute their to try to do what Maddox does with his alchemy, they quickly go silent.
One of Maddox’s dazzling images graces the cover of the new book, Training effectswritten by mountain diary founder Todd Wilkinson. “It’s one of the most eye-catching covers for a book I’ve ever done and it’s down to AD Maddox’s magnetic paint,” says editor Nancy Cleary.
A few years ago, Maddox made Livingston her home base after beginning her career as a painter in Jackson Hole, where she was mentored by the late Greg McHuron, spending time in her hometown of Nashville and influenced by a number of contemporary artists in Atlanta. She has been coming to Paradise Valley and Jackson Hole for years and her family has a home in Tom Miner Basin.
Impressionist landscape painter Scott Christensen, who received the West Purchase Award several years ago, has this to say about Maddox. “She’s grown a lot taking her designs to a whole new level,” he said. “She pays attention to her cutting edge work instead of being too graphic. You can see the maturation that is happening. AD Maddox is on a roll.
While it’s misleading to label Maddox an iconoclast, she is fiercely strong-willed and independent, defying those who say art should be pursued under a rigid set of rules. And it was this attitude that freed her. She has collectors all over the world.
The screening of his new works, certainly festive, lasts from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday June 24 at AD Maddox Studios, 114 North B Street, in Livingston. The public is invited. mountain diary recently engaged Maddox in a back-and-forth.
Mountain diary: What is this show about?
AD MADDOX: My annual summer opening night showcasing new 2022 original oil paintings from a series I call “Isolated Water” and all of my other available originals.
MOJO: How did you start “painting fish?”
MADDOX: I started painting Trout in 1998 while living in Jackson Hole. My team thought it would be a popular topic for my western audience. These pieces still sold out and I have continued to paint trout ever since.
MOJO: Your palette and approach to color can be quite pungent, in a way that commands attention. What do you want viewers to pay attention to?
MADDOX: I leave that to everyone because there is not a single answer. Each person is affected by a work of art in their own way. I paint photorealism, and if you can imagine painting all the colors and values in moving water, then you know the magnitude of my challenge.
MOJO: You have been a proud Greater Yellowstone resident, living in both Jackson Hole and Livingstone/Paradise Valley. What sets this region apart?
MADDOX: The vastness of space bordered by mountains. I find the beautiful scenery inspiring because there is plenty of space to be free and play.
MOJO: What is the best compliment you have ever received about your art?
MADDOX: The most memorable are how the piece reminds them of a great memory they have with a loved one.