This site has limited support for your browser. We recommend switching to Edge, Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.
Congratulations! Your order qualifies for free shipping FREE SHIPPING $150+ | $5 FLATE RATE SHIPPING | FREE LOCAL PICKUP
MEET THE MAKER: Amanda Cox of Little Salt Wagon

MEET THE MAKER: Amanda Cox of Little Salt Wagon

We're constantly inspired by the talented makers that are within our community and in our markets! In today's segment of Meet The Makers, we're getting to know Amanda Cox of Little Salt Wagon. We love her nature inspired art and we can't wait to see what other beautiful cards + prints she has in store for us at our Findings Market Holiday Fair this season!


How did the idea for Little Salt Wagon come about? What started this journey?

Little Salt Wagon was born in 2017, although I had been drawing and painting since I was a young kid with my grandpa who was an artist. I went to our local college here, CSUCI, for drawing and painting, but had not been in the habit of creating much in the years following.

There was a maker's market at the Patagonia Headquarters in Ventura that year, so I thought I'd give it a try making a few things and get back into the swing of things. Lo and behold, the Thomas Fire started the night before the maker's market and raged through our county throughout the following weeks and turned our world upside down. I had created all of this work with nowhere to sell it. Thankfully, Topa Topa on Thompson St. was kind enough to host all of us makers during their holiday market the following week when it was still raining ash outside, and we donated a percentage of our profits to help those in need and affected by the fire. It was such an incredible experience connecting with our community in that way and I had such a blast doing it, Little Salt Wagon was born and I haven't slowed down since.


What inspires your work? 

My inspiration comes from my heritage and childhood, the natural world and community that has surrounded me here in Ventura County and California, and my travels around the greater American west. The nostalgia of what it was like growing up with room to roam in such a beautiful place learning from nature has formed who I am today and what I am drawn to create.

The rich history of California and my heritage here plays a big role in my inspiration too, with elements of simple country living always working their way into my work- wide open landscapes, native plants and animals and the simple things in life are the things that inspire my spirit and I hope to share with others. 


Can you tell us a little bit about your process? 

For my cards and some prints, I start by finding visual inspiration in my own life and the landscapes around me, and combine that with ideas I've been cooking up for wording on greeting cards or prints that would be a unique locally inspired addition to homes. I sketch and paint out all my ideas by hand using gouache paint which is my preferred medium compared to watercolor as it has more pigment, but isn't as opaque as acrylic. I recently was able to buy an iPad, which is amazing, so now I can save time by drawing my lettering out on there and import that along with my paintings into Photoshop and Illustrator and prepare it for print. I'm not a digitally inclined person, so I try to simplify and get through this process as efficiently as I can. I have all my cards and prints printed locally here in Ventura using eco friendly, recyclable and compostable materials and packaging. 


For my plein air landscape oil paintings, which are a newer addition to Little Salt Wagon, I scope out good painting locations in our county when I'm hiking and driving. I bring along my grandpa's old easel with me and a small selection of materials, and set up my scene and start painting right there. I usually end up taking a photo by the end of it and finish it at home, since the wind usually kicks up, or the sun starts to set. Working out in the natural elements is one of the greatest challenges with plein air oil painting but it's what keeps bringing me back to it.


What is essential in your workspace? What helps you set the mood and get into your creative flow? 

I don't need much, as I've always had to work out of small spaces. For my prints and cards- just a clean space on my desk that my husband and I DIY'd, my brushes, paints and paper and my computer.


Plein air painting is done outside on location and I finish them up in the garage with good lighting and air flow. I love playing music (I’m an old soul and have always listened to country and western, folk, oldies, and  soul) or a good podcast. Lighting a candle and having enough lighting is essential. It's always a nice bonus to have a coffee, tea or glass of wine but not mandatory! Anything to get me in the creative flow. :)


We’d love to know what some of your favorite things to do in Ventura are, when you're not working, of course!

I love this question. I have lived almost my entire life in Ventura County, so for me it feels like there is so much to do in Ventura, but I know compared to other big cities, it is quite small. I think the unique thing that Ventura County has to offer is the unending variety of outdoor activities in our county.


My favorite activities are:

-Surfing and sun soaking when I get the chance (Although it's much less these days!)

-Riding horseback with my husband and father-in-law in the back hills of Moorpark

-Hiking and exploring in Hill Canyon and Wildwood Park where I grew up

-Driving into Ojai for hiking, beautiful views and the amazing array of local spots to hit- a few of my fav's being Fern's General Store, Wachter's Hay and Grain, and the Deer Lodge.

-Camping, hiking and exploring in Los Padres National Forest 

-When I go into town, I love grabbing a coffee at Singing Sun or Prospect, or something to eat at Frontside Cafe, and checking out our local businesses like Timbre Books, The Wharf, and Findings Market of course!


Is there anything new you're working on that we can expect at the market?

I have 6 new cards that I'm excited to share, and I also have been releasing a new print reproduction each season of my favorite piece from my last plein air painting collection. 

I am also very excited to have a series of plein air paintings from the Eastern Sierras in addition to a selection of landscape paintings from around the county. I am thrilled to offer them framed this season as well, made by myself from recycled scrap wood.



You can find Amanda's work, here, and at our Findings Market Holiday Fair on November 26th!


Congratulations! Your order qualifies for free shipping You are $150 away from free shipping.
No more products available for purchase

Your Cart is Empty