Sunday, September 19, 2010

A.R.T. Artist Spotlight - Mary Ortner

Diptych: "Thunderclouds Over Fairview Bonanza"
©Mary Ortner

This week's 2010 Artisans Road Trip artist is Mary Ortner from Odebolt, Iowa.  Mary gives us  some insight into her work and background!

"Although I was born in Iowa, and raised on a square-country mile, most of my adult life was spent in DC and New York.

That trek half-way across the country was driven by the same youthful curiosity that had spurred exploring every inch of that one-square mile called home.  And it would be in those nascent experiences that a buffer would be found against the maddening city-crowds whose cold indifference seemed but to rush through her canyons of concrete and steel.

I was in my late twenties before the artist within began budding.  Inspiration -- rooted in those home-grown experiences -- was abundant.  But I was also self taught and often heard that without "proper" artistic credentials, I couldn't be taken seriously!

Encouragement from certain of the, then prominent, Washington Color School, kept me from feeling like a snow cone in the middle of the Mojave!  Within a year, I began showing my work.

In the interim since, I've come to discover that what moves my hand across the canvas is not the face of nature, but that which lies behind it.

Currently -- and between the raindrops -- I'm challenged to write a draft-text for a children's book based on a series of collage inspired by what I call -- E.T. moments!  This little character popped into my head, but thereafter, took on a life of his own -- creating his own adventures.

Those adventures inspired a following whose interest, in turn, inspired thoughts of doing a book.

And his name?  It was found in the bosom of the night sky along with the steps back in time to the youthful memories of being sprawled upon the grass, gazing into the star-filled sky, wondering who might be gazing back at me -- and now I know!"

Be sure and pay a visit to Mary's studio and the studio of other artists the coming weekend of October 1st through 3rd for the 2010 Artisans Road Trip!!!

Hope to see you then!

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