"I am heavily influenced by my tropical setting in my small coastal Florida town. I combine watercolor and ink creating a unique and colorful take on the coastal lifestyle. I illustrate with black ink over top of many watercolor layers and extend it out onto a mat, creating a “window of color".
Water is included in almost every aspect of Florida life so I love that I can bring watercolors into my work to make it look and feel more fluid-like. I want the viewer to be drawn into each painting. I'm in love with the vastness of the ocean, the mystery of our southern canals and rivers and the peacefulness of the bush where the only sound is of the palms blowing in the wind."
· Amber has created fine artwork for Bealls Florida products such as beach bags, women and men's apparel, and home goods.
· Was the 17th Annual Hobe Sound Festival of the Arts - 2018 Featured Poster Artist.
-ArtiGras Fine Art Festival 2017 Featured Poster Artist.
-Featured Stuart ArtsFest 2014 Featured Poster Artist.
· Has been featured in the International Marlin Magazine many times.
· The Billfish Foundation 2015 Featured Artist of the Year.
· Amber has created designs for many well known sport fishing Tournaments such as Big Rock and Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic .
· Currently collaborating with UBU Brands.
· Has artwork hanging on walls all over the United States and internationally.
Amber M. Moran grew up in Central New York, next to her family dairy farm. Drawing always meant an adventure – She loved painting oak trees around the farm and trying to capture the textures of the landscape, animals and the scenery around her. She felt connected and it seemed like time passed so quickly. She was fortunate to have other family members around her age, including siblings and cousins, so they were always exploring the land and all there was to offer. Amber's father took her and her siblings camping a lot and being outside instilled a great respect and love for the outdoors.
"When my sister and I were in junior and high school, and my brother was in elementary school, we borrowed land from my grandfather and planted about 1,400 Chrysanthemums by hand each year for four years. My brother planted pumpkins and gourds and we had to farm the land. We watered, weeded and tended the ground and eventually, we were able to sell our flowers and pumpkins. We even donated some of them to local churches and businesses. The money actually went towards our college funds, and that’s just not something that everyone can say. It was hard work, and taught us valuable lessons, but the experience was worth far more than any dollar amount. That helped instill a strong work ethic and also sparked my entrepreneurial drive. I consider myself so lucky to have grown up the way I did. I watched my family work hard at farming, which is never an easy occupation. My dad is a craftsman and I spent hours watching him build beautiful pieces of work in his spare time. He would build something and I’d paint it. My mother can sew anything from quilts to clothing and both of their talents definitely influenced my artistic passions. They supported my love for artwork because they both understood the powerful draw to creating something with your hands. When I was 16, my mom took me to an art gallery for the first time – that was a pivotal moment for me. I think that’s really when I knew I wanted to study and create art, and that is exactly what I did."
Amber earned her first degree in Computer Art and Design at SUNY Alfred State. After earning her Associates degree, she decided to go back and focus on fine art. Amber then earned her Bachelors in Studio Art at the University at Buffalo, and then worked towards her Masters in General Education at Elmira College in Elmira, NY. As a Graduate Assistant and Assistant Coordinator of the Encore program of Elmira College Ms. Moran educated students in the exposure, exploration, and appreciation of the classical and cultural performing arts. Amber was also the box office manager at the college and oversaw about 30 work study students.
"When I was in undergrad, I wasn’t particularly fond of using watercolor paints. I found them very difficult to work with and I wasn’t comfortable with the fact that I couldn’t control them. I dreaded the days we had to work with watercolors in class. It wasn't until after our sons were napping one day – when I decided to try again. It had been a while since I had done anything creative. Being a mom is challenging, and I was tired, as most new moms are. One day, I found some of my old watercolor paints that I had from college and I brought them out. After a little while of trying different things, something clicked and it just felt right. It may have been that motherhood taught me about letting go, gave me more patience to try… I stopped trying to be so intricate and precise. I stopped trying for perfection. The trick with watercolors is to go with the flow and have fun!"
That experience led to Amber's current style of combining watercolors and ink, and essentially letting the artwork go outside of the box. Amber begins with watercolor and creates shapes, layers and textures. Then, goes back and illustrates over the top. "In college, I would love to create art for my then-boyfriend (now my husband) – I’d create something and then mat it. I didn’t want to stop there, so I’d illustrate onto the mat and continue the piece of art, and that is still evident in my marine and wildlife artwork."
Amber and her husband Adam moved to Florida in 2004. They now live in a small town on Florida’s Treasure Coast in between Jupiter and Stuart, Florida with their two boys. "I gain inspiration every day from the small fishing villages, the sights and sounds and just being in such a creative, beautiful environment."
Amber is a member of the Billfish Foundation. She works with the Martin County’s Lionfish Program which was established in response to an increased presence of lionfish on our offshore reefs and in our estuaries. As a County committed to the preservation of Florida's environment, the arrival of this species triggered an immediate response starting with the Inaugural Lionfish Round-Up in 2011. Ms. Moran creates and donates artwork for the Lionfish Round-Up each year. She donates to the Sea-life Habitat Improvement Project, Inc. (SHIP, Inc.) which is a 501.c.3 public charity dedicated to deploying a large Navy type ship off the Treasure Coast of Florida as an artificial reef. Ms. Moran and her family are involved in the Martin County Coastal Cleanup each year. She works with the Florida Association of Environmental Professionals as well. Her and her family also volunteer through Boy Scouts frequently throughout the year for different/various charities. Amber also works with different Sport Fishing Tournaments who donate to specific organizations. You can find more info here http://www.ambermmoran.com/tournaments.html
"My passion for marine life not only enhances my artwork, but inspires my sons to have a love and appreciation for coastal conservation. Being involved with these charities, within our community and my art business exposes them to many different positive things. Caring about a healthy marine environment is something that needs to be shared with younger generations."
On painting Florida:
Amber is heavily influenced by her tropical setting in her coastal Florida town. "Water is included in almost every aspect of Florida life and I love that I can use watercolors to make my artwork look/feel more fluid like. I really feel like I was meant to be here in Florida and paint."
"My family and I have worked hard together to build my art business over the years. Adam and our boys are very much a part of it as they travel with me and help set up, sell artwork and take down my booth at shows. I work from home and always have their support and needed critiques. My family most definitely inspires me – I couldn’t do this without the support of my husband or our sons."
"Each year I learn more, my work matures and I have more opportunities to share it. I have been lucky enough to have been published in Marlin International Magazine, Marine Art Gallery several times, I have been named the 2015 Billfish Foundation Artist of the Year, I was a finalist in The Next BEALL’S Florida Artist 2015 Competition, which was a lot of fun, partnered with Beall's Florida for two seasons and I illustrated my first book Seaweed Noodle Soup, written by Author Lyn Warner. I get a huge sense of accomplishment when I am exhibiting at a show and a boat captain or angler gives my artwork a compliment, and I take pride in knowing that my artwork hangs in many homes and businesses around the world."