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The Early Days

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This painting depicts Elanora as a young woman and what she may have looked like when she was most interested in the primordial cosmic glow.

For more on Elanora, the muse of artist Amanda Hudson, see the Artistic Process dropdown section.

48” x 30” x 1”

Acrylic on wood and hand forged bolts

Artist Bio

Amanda Hudson was born in Natchez, Ms. but was raised from age 3 in Bozeman, Montana, where she attended Montana State University and earned a BFA in Studio Arts and Painting. After completing her studies, she went on to earn an MFA in Painting at the American Academy in Rome, Italy.  

Elanora who appears in all of Amanda’s paintings is a ghost and has been Amanda’s muse for many years. Each painting depicts different scenes of Elanora’s life through the centuries. Amanda's paintings are bold, vibrant and big, and each painting holds many parts of Elanora’s story with hidden messages and nuances. There’s intricate detail and depth, and a sense of movement and flow in every part of the canvas. The message from Amanda’s paintings is, where we are right now is far from being the only space we’ll hold. We’ve got many more existences to exist, so open your mind. There’s so much there than we know.

Artistic Process

I am Amanda Hudson and the woman in my paintings is my muse Elanora. She is a woman who expired in her most recent life in 1889 but has been with me since I visited Lille, France in 2006.  Since then, I have painted versions of her from small glimpses I get into her world, through my dreams and sometimes in my waking life, usually in my loft where I live and paint. She provides me with endless material because she wishes to still be seen and present. We both realized a way to make this happen several years ago, through my paintings and I am forever grateful to her for continually guiding my process and telling the story of her many lives.   

I have a lengthy history of painting and showing my work and have over the last two years been working on a series I call, yes you guessed it, “Elanora.” Since renovating and moving into my loft space in 2022, Elanora has really been showing up! Her favorite area to hang out is in the small living area that divides my bedroom and my fiancé Andy’s recording studio. She loves to saunter through the big open entryway, making sure I see her.  Before you ask, yes, many other people have seen her too. If I’m not paying attention when she’s being active, she’ll either get the attention of someone else, often one of Andy’s band members, but usually my cat Emmitt.  

You may be wondering how I know her name and why she’s chosen to be with me for so many years. I came across an old daguerreotype at an outdoor market in Lille, France. The image was a beautiful, interesting-looking, young woman. On the back was etched “Elanora, 1870.” Her dark hair was piled on top of her head in a very messy way, she was a little buck-toothed, and she donned an eyepatch over her right eye. More than anything though, I was taken in by her expression. She didn’t look like a gentile, bashful young woman like you’d imagine women of that time to be, but rather she looked like some kind of badass pirate. Instantly I was obsessed, and I knew she was going to mean something big to me.  

There is so much more to this story that stems back to my childhood, where all of this may have actually begun...... I’m now in the process of putting pen to paper to write about the whole wild, interesting story and hope to have it completed within the year.  

For you the viewer, my wish is that you’ll also love learning about the life of this fascinating woman through my paintings. I hope that every time you look at one of my paintings, you discover something you didn’t see before. They hold so many little nuances and messages, that it would be hard to absorb it all with only one look. I’m doing my best to capture the richness and bizarre nature of her many lives, always Elanora no matter what. 

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    The Early Days
    The Early Days
    The Early Days
    The Early Days