Sunday, June 3, 2012

Artist Series: Mary Nasser

Deep Within mixed media/acrylic by Mary Nasser
Hello and welcome! As I mentioned here, I'm taking Blogging Your Way 2.0 and loving it! I've already met some super talented and creative women in the very first week, such as fellow classmate and artist Mary Nasser. I was drawn to Mary's art because I'm a world traveller who seeks exploration, culture and COLOR. I saw all of those elements in her art and wanted to get a bit more info on her process and what it's like to make a living as an artist. Enjoy the interview~

Map mixed media/acrylic
Desha: I see you incorporate a lot of maps in your art and read that you are inspired by geology and landscapes. Do you also love to travel, is that part of your inspiration as well?

Mary: I do also love to travel, and traveling has definitely been an inspiration to me. I've been fortunate to see all kinds of landscapes and geology in my travels as well as amazing art, too! Immersing myself in a different culture or environment also helps my sense of perspective. I love blogging about my travels because it is a source of inspiration, and I hope my posts about travels will inspire others, too.

Desha: Art can be a very personal expression, how does it feel to put your art "out there" online?
Latitude mixed media/encaustic
Mary: It felt very scary, especially at first, because art can be subjective and beauty be in the eye of the beholder. But since putting my art out there online, I've received an overwhelming amount of support from other artists in the online community.

Being brave and putting my art out there has also resulted in friendships and opportunities I could have never imagined. For example, this summer I will be featured in an international art magazine about art journaling and mixed-media! A contributing editor of the magazine had seen my blog and loved my art and asked if I'd be interested in being interviewed for their magazine!

Keeping a blog has also kept me on track of my goal of posting a painting a week. Deadlines have made all the difference for me!

Lake mixed media/encaustic
Desha: Our society doesn't necessarily encourage people to make a career out of art, how have you been able to make a career as an artist? Do you consider yourself a "success"?

Mary: I've been able to make a career as an artist by following different paths, such as teaching art, doing art therapy workshops, and even working as a museum educator. Do I consider myself a success?  Artists are their own worst critics, but I do consider myself a success. I paint everyday and am fortunate enough to teach art and work closely with others and encourage their creativity, too.

Wilderness mixed media/encaustic
South mixed media/acrylic
What would you tell young artists who might want to pursue a career in art, yet are worried about the economy, their parents, money...... etc.

Mary: I would tell young artists to follow their dreams. Many years ago, I read in Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way that we are not given a dream without the means of achieving that dream. That has always stuck with me. I truly believe that there is enough abundance in the universe for all of us. So I would tell young artists to work hard, stay focused, follow their dreams, and be patient, too.

Mary C. Nasser
More About Mary
All of my art is inspired by nature: specifically, landscapes and geology. My love of landscape is revealed in mixed media paintings layered with maps and scientific illustrations. I study physical geology and geological diagrams to incorporate into my paintings. I am captivated by the idea that geological shifts and transformations seem to parallel both individuals and their relationships: continually changing, varying, shifting and developing, too.

In 2008, I embarked on an artist residency at Red Cinder Creativity Center, located between the active and accessible volcanoes Kilauea and Mauna Loa, on the Big Island of Hawaii. Immersed in twelve of the world’s thirteen climate zones, I experienced and studied the various landscapes and dynamic geology of the island. I had the unique opportunities of watching landscape being created and standing on the newest land on earth: landscape created by lava hardening into rock, which, in time, will transform into soil where plants will sprout and grow. Consequently, the dramatic volcanic landscapes continue to inform and influence my work.

Find Mary on her blog or Etsy and like her facebook page while you're at it!

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