Artist Statement
I have been making art my entire life and I have always been drawn to the figure, both human and animal and often the two together. To me, painting a portrait is not only about the sitter but equally about the artist as well. I see myself in the images I make and I think about the human condition. I think of our feelings about what is happening around us, our relationship to the other creatures we share this world with and our existence and effect on our environment. 
At the same time, I feel a portrait should be a work of art in itself. I love to push around paint, layer and build, sand and refine. I am enticed by realism but wild with color. I strive to create flow and depth and to think about light, shapes and pattern. Most of all, when I paint portraits, I love that moment when the sitter comes alive, when the eyes begin to see things I can’t see and don’t know and have feelings that are not mine.  
I’ve grown up and lived my entire life in Oregon. I studied painting and printmaking at Pacific Northwest College of Art from 2000 to 2004. After college I traveled to Iceland and found myself inspired to work with wool fiber, first creating wet felted functional objects and then needle felted sculptures.  Upon returning home I worked full time for nearly ten years making needle felted portraits of people’s beloved dogs. Today I create work in many mediums and have a strong drive to make objects and art that generate an emotional response of relation from the viewer. 
Amelia Santiago
Facing You
November 2021