Thursday, February 27, 2014

DPW Spotlight Interview: Mary Anne Cary

Each week we will spotlight a different DPW artist who will give away one of their best paintings.

To enter to win Mary Anne's painting, "Summer Marsh" go to Daily Paintworks and click on the link at the top of the page announcing their interview.

From Mary Anne's DPW Gallery page:

I am a pastel and oil painter living in Cape Elizabeth Maine. A former graphic artist, I now try to devote my time to painting. I am inspired by the Maine coast and landscape, and I strive to capture everyday scenes with a fresh vision and energy.

I find that, living in Maine, I am supplied with endless possibilities for paintings. I see intriguing studies every time I take a drive, whether down the street or up the coast. I love having my camera ready to record the many compositions and ideas I see around me. I have attended workshops with local and nationally recognized artists and I enter regional juried art shows.

Tell us a bit about how you first started painting.

I attended art school and received a degree in Visual Design, which was basically graphic art and commercial print design. I had classes in that discipline including typography, photography, and color. For electives, I did some drawing and pottery, but no painting. After college, I worked in the advertising and printing industry. When I married and was at home with small children, I took some adult classes in watercolor on and off for a couple of years.

Summer Marsh
(click to see original image)

Enter to win by clicking on the link at the top of the home page announcing Mary Anne's interview.

Did you have any stops and starts in your painting career?

The adult classes were not consistent, and a little frustrating when you can't devote enough time to the learning process. I also think watercolor is difficult in that it is not too forgiving; it does not leave a lot of room for correcting mistakes. So through the years of child rearing and working part time, I dabbled in a few more artistic endeavors, unable to stay away from doing something creative.

What mediums and genres have you experimented with?

Along the way, I took a workshop in pastel and continued with that medium for several years. I love pastels, their richness and versatility. Besides the few adult classes I took, my painting is mostly self taught. After concentrating on pastels and reading and studying other pastel artist's work, I slowly started to display my work and make some sales. That concentration exposed me to oil painting and I became very intrigued by the lushness of oil paintings. Afraid of oils and all the chemicals, I started with acrylics because it seemed much less daunting. Eventually, I gave in when I felt I was unable to get the results I was looking for and tackled oils.

Bee Still
(click to see original image)

Which ones have "stuck" and which ones have fallen away?

The oils started slowly as I was learning on my own, and I found I was thrilled I didn't have to mat and frame every piece. So, even though I feel more comfortable or successful with pastels, I gradually moved away from them. I think I was looser and a bit more creative with pastels. But honestly, I didn't like the pastel dust and the hazards of breathing in those particles that always seemed in the air. I am not the neatest when I am working, and keeping a really clean environment is hard work and a struggle for me. Framing is much easier with oils; I love not having to use glass! So, even though I find oils more difficult, I am happiest working in this medium right now.

Which ones are you looking forward to exploring?

I am taking a workshop in encaustic in a couple weeks. I am intrigued with that process, and I think it will help me with the desire I have had to move in a more abstract style.

Deconstructed Shadows
(click to see original image)

Who or what inspires you most?

I have kindled the fire for creating paintings, so I feel most inspired by my everyday environment. I also love being able to do virtual gallery surfing and to explore other art and artists. Seeing all the talent and genius in the art world gets me revved up to produce my own. Galleries in "real" time along with museums are essential, too. There is nothing like watching how people are affected by art.

What does procrastination look like for you?

Procrastination is in my face everyday, in the form of housework, bills, laundry and grocery shopping. I could go on, but I won't bore you.

Pines and Ocean
(click to see original image)

What techniques work to ensure that you make time for your art?

The technique that has worked best for me was to rent a studio space two and a half years ago. Getting out of the house and having a space to go to, as well as being with other artists, was a positive step. It helped me to believe in myself more and build up a bit of confidence (even though that is still lacking somewhat). I sometimes feel I am not quite ready for prime time!

How do you generally arrive at ideas for your paintings? How do you keep art "fresh?" What techniques have helped you avoid burnout and keep your work vibrant and engaging?

My biggest block is arriving at ideas for my paintings. I have lots and lots of ideas, and that is the problem. I think I am still a work in progress, and struggle to find a style, which in turn holds me back from progressing in the way I should. I am a bit "all over the place"!

Sometimes I will be inspired by something I see and hold onto that idea until I get to the studio, planning it out before I even arrive. I often wonder how other artists arrive at their artistic expression and stick with one genre.

My continual search is to find where my true painter's personal language resides. I think it helps to keep me from burning out and staying somewhat fresh in my mind.

Deconstructed Grass 2
(click to see original image)

What makes you happiest about your art?

I am really happy with my art when I am truly inspired. When I step back from a piece and think, '"it works," I was able to express my feeling.

Thanks, Mary Anne!

© 2014 Sophie Catalina Marine

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