Artist Statement: My goal as a Christian artist is to invite viewers into each work for spiritual reflection and discernment. The composition and title of each piece are designed to enhance dialogue between the artist and the viewer to bring about a deeper awareness of spiritual themes.
My Art Journey…
As a kid I would often sit and watch my mom draw and paint and was so in awe at the things she could create. One afternoon when I was eleven I grabbed one of her paintings right after she finished it, ran off to my room and put it on my dresser. I sat on my bed just staring and studying it intensely……I wondered: How did she do that? Can I do that? That was the day I decided that I wanted to be an artist just like my mom.
When I got into middle school, I started learning the basics about composition and design. As I grew and developed as a young artist I was introduced to various art materials and techniques, but wasn’t able to decide on what medium I preferred until I experimented with oil painting when I was in high school. From that time, until I was 23, I did a lot of experimentation and researched different oil paints and additives until I eventually switched to acrylic paints in 1997. Technically speaking, oil and acrylic paints are both excellent art mediums. Over the past 50+ years, the advancement of artist materials has been absolutely phenomenal. Artists now have more choices when it comes to creating archival artwork in a variety of mediums. Acrylics and oils both hold up well over time if the artist is careful to apply them correctly to the substrate and they are displayed and cared for properly.
But back to being an oil painter...it seemed like I was always trying to find a “recipe” that would suit my preferred way of painting, which is/was in thin glazes. With oils, that’s hard to do since they dry very slowly, you have to paint fat over thin, and the painting can take months, if not years, to completely cure. There were other things that concerned me about oil paints, such as the toxicity factor, the potential cracking, fading, and yellowing that might occur after the painting was over 100+ years old. It wasn’t until I attended a Golden Acrylic paint demo at school one night that I started to seriously consider changing mediums. The guest artist was using a variety of Golden paints, additives, gels, etc., and the results were astonishing. By the end of the demo, all of the “test” paintings were dry…it was almost unbelievable. I thought about going to the art store to get some of the paints and mediums for experimentation, but since I had such a HUGE investment in my oil paints, additives, brushes, etc., I decided I would continue on in oils.
A year later, while I was on vacation in New Mexico, I visited an art store (Artisan Santa Fe) that had a Golden Paint kit on sale, so grabbed it. When I got back to my hotel, I decided to give it a whirl and it was like painting with velvety butter....I was hooked.
As of 2017, I have entered into a more experimental mode with abstractions and trying new materials/supplies. These are the days to try new things and have fun during the journey.
Here are a few of my favorite things:
The Bible https://www.biblegateway.com
My Church http://www.chaseoaks.org
Resources for Christian artists:
Outside of Texas: https://www.artisansantafe.com
Symbolism In My Older Work (The Desert Paintings)
~ Pathways are used primarily to convey the journey/path we take in life…we may see where it’s going for a while, it may disappear as it dips in between hills/valleys and take sharp turns around large obstacles, it can be wide or narrow, it can also indicate the road less traveled, or a difficult way.
~ A cliff can signify being on the edge, a decision making process, or a time to ponder and take action.
~ The Dark background represents night, seriousness, spiritual darkness and/or separation from God. The dark skies contrasted with a light landscape or imagery also help to convey the well known Christian theme of Christ being the light in our darkness.
~ Light backgrounds help to translate hope and peace in the midst of struggles, as well as the beginning of a new day.
~ The crosses in my work refer to Christ, the Christian walk of faith and/or the burdens that we must carry in life.
~ The figures are used to help the viewer put themselves in that particular setting/circumstance for contemplative purposes. Figures are kept as gender and race free as possible so that no viewer is excluded, but rather all are invited to examine the significance of the particular theme being portrayed.
~ Bald heads - a reminder that we are always 'naked' in front of God, He sees us as we really are.
~ Skeletons - death, spiritual death, unrepentant, lost, hungry, unfruitful
~ Hearts (Missing) - heartless, spiritual death, unlovable, brokenhearted
~ Hearts (On the outside of the body) - having a heart for God, ready/able to give or love
~ Kneeling figures - contemplative, position of prayer, showing reverence or being repentant
~ Figures in fetal positions - mourning, being repentant or resting in peace
~ Figures standing - dignified, ready to overcome, or being still & stagnant in faith or in life
~ Figures sitting - resting, being refreshed, contemplating the next step
~ Figures carrying/dragging sacks or bags - holding on to luggage such as: anger, heartbreak, loss, guilt, fear, or burdens from the past or present that can weigh us down and keep us from the potential that Father God has for us.
This is my painting signature mark/logo, which are my initials: M D M ~ I created this signature mark several years ago so that I wouldn't take up half of the lower portion of a painting trying to sign my long name. The only time I don't use this signature is on the mini paintings and some abstract paintings.
*Logo designed by Glenda Williams
Photo Diary....Here are some random pictures of me through the years:
1987 school picture
|My 7th birthday in 1980|
|Me and my brother Michael in 1980|
|Me and big sister Tracey in 1976|
|Sept 29 1975|
|Me and mom...early 1974|
A good frame can truly “set off” a piece of artwork. Sometimes, the best way to choose a frame for your artwork is to decide what kind of emphasis you want the piece to have in the display setting or by what your budget allows. The more ornate a frame is, the more it will cost. Another thing to keep in mind is that ornate frames can sometimes take away from the artwork or make it look “too busy.” A good frame will enhance the artwork. Personally, I go with plain black frames that are 3-4 inches wide. The color is neutral and it doesn’t distract from the artwork. Local framing shops such as Hobby Lobby or Michaels have well trained staff that can assist you in finding the perfect frame for your art, so don’t hesitate to get their input if you’re having trouble trying to pick the perfect frame.
Here are some pics of the art studio as it is right now:
These pics are before I moved in Feb 2017
Here are how things used to be...
|Cross - Meditation wall...these are crosses that were given to me or purchased on vacations.|