Amie Gonser

Artist Biography

I once told someone that art is a physical part of me, just as my eyes and hair are brown.  I am a fifth generation artist on my mother’s side. I didn't choose to be an artist, I was born as one.

I grew up on a farm in South Louisiana.  As a child, my summer days were spent outdoors, climbing trees and being creative through the games I played. Despite the fact that art classes were not offered in school, I majored in fine arts at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana, Lafayette).  I was fortunate to have caring and talented instructors who nurtured my raw talent into something much more. It was my professor, Allan Jones, who first told me I was a painter. I said “okay” and ran with it. I received my bachelor of fine arts in 1997.  I aspired to be a college level art instructor.  In fall of 1998, I was accepted to Florida State University in Tallahassee.  Living so far from home, for this country girl, caused major personal growth.  I made amazing friends there, some of whom are now more like family. During my final semester at FSU, I married my long distance love, Janis Gonser (from Hamburg, Germany). We stayed on in Tallahassee for seven years.  I taught classes during those years as an adjunct at both Tallahassee Community College and Florida State.  I applied for many positions across the country, but my dream of becoming a full time art instructor didn’t seem to be in my future.  Janis and I decided to sell our home and move to the great city of Austin, Texas. Once in Austin, I worked toward getting k-12 certificated in art. I needed a job, and I figured teaching art at any level would be wonderful. I have been an elementary art teacher in Round Rock since 2008.


In July of 2015, I took a life changing trip to Taos, New Mexico.  This was the first time I had ever taken a trip alone (without my family).  It was a glorious adventure.  The eight day trip was centered around plein air painting under the guidance of instructor, Jimmy Longacre. I knew nothing of Jimmy before scheduling the trip and was excited to find out that he lives just down the road in Dripping Springs, Texas.  I had never done plein air painting prior to this trip, and I decided to stick with my acrylic paints, knowing it would be a challenge in the open air and heat.  It certainly was!  While on the trip, I produced eight paintings within four days.  I tackled the New Mexico landscape which was foreign to me, and oh so beautiful! Jimmy reminded me of lessons I had learned in college, but was not utilizing in my everyday painting practices.  He really stressed the importance of contrast and value within a composition and forced us to see it by first sketching out the composition using a notan design of black and white.  When I returned home from Taos, I had a fire burning inside me for creating art.  I joined the Plein Air Austin group and dove in with my first plein air paint out session in Gruene, Texas. In Summer of 2016, I started the Plein Air Round Rock Meetup group.  We meet once a month to paint en plein air. Also, with the help of my tech savvy husband, I developed a website to show and sell my work.  The trip to Taos, meeting Jimmy and other inspirational artists, was just what I needed to kick start my art career.  Now I just have to kindle that fire within me, keeping it going through new experiences and new artworks.

 

Artist Curriculum Vitae

Amie Gonser (b. 1974, New Iberia, LA). Lives and works in Round Rock, TX

Education

  • 2000, Master of Fine Arts, Florida State University
  • 1997, Bachelor of Fine Arts, University of Louisiana at Lafayette


Shows and Competitions

  • 3/11-17/2017, Shadows on the Teche Plein Air Competition, New Iberia, LA
  • 3/2017, Imagine, Juried Group Show, Texas State University, Round Rock Campus, Tx
  • 2/2017, Shared View, two person show with artist Maura Schaffer, 623 Cuernavaca, Austin, Tx
  • 10/2016, Close to Home, Plein Air Round Rock Group Show, Lamppost Coffee, Round Rock, Tx
  • 9/2016, Plein Air Austin Member Show, Corridor of Arts, Austin, Tx 
  • 9/2016, Burnet Art Festival, (Plein Air Competition), Burnet, Tx
  • 9/2016, 7th Annual Chalk Walk Festival, Round Rock, Tx
  • 3/2016, Spring, New Beginnings, Juried Group Show, ArtSpace Gallery, Round Rock, Tx
  • 3/2016, Plein Air Austin, 10th Anniversary Show, ArtSpace, Austin, Tx
  • 11/2015, Dia De Los Muertos, Juried Group Show, ArtSpace Gallery, Round Rock, Tx
  • 9/2015, Plein Air Austin Member Show, Corridor of Arts, Austin, Tx 


Awards

  • 2016, Best Figure, 7th Annual Chalk Walk Festival, Round Rock, Tx
  • 2016, Best in Show, Burnet Art Festival 


Memberships

  • Round Rock Arts Association
  • Plein Air Austin
  • Plein Air Round Rock (Founder)


Workshops Attended

  • 7/2015, Taos School of Art, Instructor: Jimmy Longacre


Teaching Experience

  • 2008- Present, Art Teacher, k-5, Round Rock ISD
  • 2000-2007, Adjunct Professor of Art, Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College, Tallahassee, FL