Interview by Dave Noodlez
We met Mary about 6 months ago at Pepperjack Grill during a Tee Party. It was one of our most fun Tee Parties of the year. Since then we have got to meet her family and friends. We even had the chance to print tee shirts for her daughter's class. Mary has a show coming up at Hub 17 and we're excited to see her following her dreams. We got a chance to sit down with Mary and talk about her show 'Inspiration & Exploration'
When did you first start painting?
Around 1993. I remember being almost 30 when I started. It was an on and off thing for me at that time. Then I didn't touch a brush for almost ten years after I got pregnant in 2001. In 2010 I started to paint again and I haven't stopped.
How did you get into painting?
As a kid I always fantasized about being an artist. After finishing school with a Graphic Design degree, I knew that wasn't for me. I needed a more "hands on" approach to create so I decided to teach myself to paint.
Who inspires you?
My daughter. Musicians. Friends. Folk artists. Picasso. Diego Rivera. Max Beckmann. Francis Bacon. El Greco. Modigliani. Anyone. Everyone!
What is one place that inspires you?
Every time I go to a museum, I leave feeling high and very inspired. Especially MOMA.
What is a great place for explorations on Staten Island?
Fort Wadsworth. A beautiful setting. Incredible view of New York Harbor. Great landscape. One of the Island's treasures. Lots of history in that place. You may even run into a herd of goats there. Exploring around those grounds can be very inspiring.
What is one piece of art that you are really proud of that will be in your 'Inspirations and Explorations' gallery?
"Annie Waits" is something I am proud of. A friend gave me that canvas a while back. It measures 30" x 40". When I saw the size of it, it intimidated me. I never thought I'd be able to fill the space because I usually don't work "big". But when I finished the painting, I felt proud that I had gone out of my comfort zone.
Where is your favorite place to paint?
My studio. My husband built it for me a few years ago right in our backyard. It is my own sacred space, away from the distractions of life with the convenience of being home. It was a great gift of love from him.
Did you listen to music while preparing for this show? If so which albums, artists, songs did you listen to?
Mississippi John Hurt
Nat King Cole
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
Preservation Hall Jazz Band
What is some advice you would give someone that is looking for inspiration?
Look around you. If you really look, you can find inspiration in everything. If that doesn't work for you, look at some art books.
Where and when can people check out your upcoming show 'Inspirations and Explorations'?
The exhibit will be at Hub 17 NYC. Located at 73 Wave Street Staten Island, NY. It runs from November 10th - November 13th. Meet and Greet Reception will be on Saturday, November 12th 7pm - 10pm