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Snapshots of Popular Media: Art by Amber Petersen

A painting featuring a brightly coloured line-art faceFree Line Face No 5, acrylic, conte and gel medium on stretched canvas

Featured artist Amber Petersen is a painter and illustrator who frequently combines pop-culture references and bright, stylized imagery. The small scale of many of her works makes them all the more appealing, as bite-sized snapshots of popular media and referential humour.


A long painting with abstracted cacti and sceneryUntitled, acrylic and gel mediums on wood panel

Amber’s most recent artworks use a bright, almost neon colour palette, combining abstracted line art and figural forms with patches of pure colour. I like the layered look that Amber achieves in these works, building up a multitude of tiny, different-coloured marks that somehow all complement one another to create a frantic, energetic whole.


A screen capture of Amber Petersen's art

In our last feature, we looked at her pop-cultural portraits. The artist has created a series of tiny canvas portraits of figures from well-known movies and television shows. In her online store, Amber sells sets of buttons featuring paintings of such figures. Each set comes with four or six buttons depicting characters or popular catch-phrases from series like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and Portlandia. 


A set of hand-painted buttons of Walking Dead charactersThe Walking Dead, 1" buttons printed with artworks made from acrylic and ink on canvas

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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