As we read how these artists honor their mothers we might realize for many artists every day should be “Mother’s Day”.
Celebrate all the “Mothers” in your life — whether they’re related or not. All the women who have nurtured you, have given you unconditional love and support, and encouraged you to follow your dreams and passions and pursuit of being an artist.
All artists featured here are members of Manhattan Arts International.
Banner: Left: Gustav Klimt, detail from The Three Ages of Woman Mother and Child. Right: Mary Cassatt, Mother and Child (The Oval Mirror).
Click on Artists’ Names to visit their pages. Click on images to view enlargements.
“My mom is my biggest fan. ‘Martha’s my artist’, she says. She showed everyone the giraffe painting I came home with in eighth grade and the key chain I made for her is still on her key ring. Her dining room was my gallery for practice art shows. Without my mom’s three words, I might have drifted away from being an artist. Now, my biggest joy is having her at art openings and seeing the sparkle in her eyes.”
“My mother always made sure I had plenty of art supplies. Crayons, pencils, drawing paper and coloring books were readily available to me at any time. I never had rules regarding my art, such as ‘you can color when you are done cleaning your room’. I could create anywhere throughout the house even in the middle of the living room or all over the kitchen table”.
“If it was not for my mum, I would not have been an artist. She encouraged my drawing. When I received my first paint box I painted a horse, as I knew she loved them. When I saw the pleasure on her face when she peered at that horse and the love and dedication she offered so that I will succeed in my studies, I felt my destiny was clear.”
“I remember how my mother painstakingly put together many small 8″ x 8″ dioramas representing daily life. By watching her and being fascinated (by her process) she taught me patience and care while creating artwork.”
“Mother’s Day was every day with my mother. A woman of many talents she had a beautiful voice, great style, and an amazing eye for design. I inherited her ability to sing and I also developed a design sense which I incorporate into my artwork. When creating my whimsical paintings I hear music, which I use to spread joy within my compositions. It’s a wonderful connection I have with my mother.”
Special Recognition Second Place Cash Award Winner in “HERStory 2016”
Featured Artist Interview conducted by Renée Phillips
Mary Lou Dauray is an award-winning environmental artist, writer, activist and blogger who lives in Sausalito, California. The artist recently won a Special Achievement Second Place Cash Award and Featured Artist Interview from Manhattan Arts International in its “HERStory 2016” juried exhibition. She received this award for her ongoing series of art and articles that help to raise awareness about climate destruction, pollution, and global warming.
Her art work varies from realistic to semi-abstract with sizes as small as 6” x 8” to as large as 54” x 54″.
As an artist who is highly proficient in many mediums, Dauray communicates powerful messages while also creating paintings of extraordinary beauty. Her mastery of composition and color dominates any subject and series she chooses to explore.
Mary Lou Dauray’s art work is in numerous collections around the globe including the Sophie Davis Medical School, City College of New York, and many private collections. Her many exhibitions include those at the Virginia Art Museum, University of Southern California Institute for Genetic Medicine Art Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, and Runnymede Corporate Headquarters, VA.
In this interview she shares information about her “Nuclear Series”, “Ocean Series” and “Coal Series”.
All rights reserved. Do not copy any images without the artist’s permission. Click on images for larger views.
Mary Lou, one of the first paintings I saw of yours is “Iceberg Wasteland”, from your “Ocean Series”. Would you share some information about the painting and the Iceberg series?
MLD: “Iceberg Wasteland” is a large triptych painting that I created for a two-person exhibition “Aging People/Aging Planet”, presented at the University of Southern California Institute for Genetic Medicine Art Gallery in Los Angeles, California. It is one of the paintings from my series of Iceberg paintings that were shown at the Olympics in London under the auspices of “Art of the Olympians” to tie in with an environmental panel discussing the impact of climate change.
This series is devoted to raise awareness about the disappearing huge ice fields, giant glaciers and sea ice due to massive pollution residue from the burning of fossil fuels.
This painting also received an Award of Excellence from Manhattan Arts International’s “Celebrate The Healing Power of ART” juried competition and exhibition in 2013 that was juried by Jill Conner, NY art critic/curator; Barbara Markoff, art consultant/gallery owner; and Renee Phillips, director, Manhattan Arts International.
What was the catalyst that brought about your “Coal Series”?
MLD: I decided to pursue this direction after a visit to Czestochowa, Poland. While on a train there I viewed a carbon black lake surrounded by rings of dead black trees. I knew without a doubt that this situation was caused by pollution from the burning of coal and I became sick to my stomach. The more I learn about coal the more I know that I need to use my art to bring attention to this serious pollution situation.
Coal plants are the nation’s top source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and the primary cause of global warming. Burning coal is also a leading cause of smog, acid rain, and toxic air pollution.
What led to your current “Nuclear Series?
MLD: In the Japanese Fukushima Prefecture you cannot help but glance around and see at least 54,000 very organized stacks holding more than 9 million neatly packed plastic storage bags. These enormous black sealed bags are filled with radioactive soil and all kinds of sizzling waste collected since the Fukushima Daiishi triple nuclear meltdown on March 11, 2011.
The painting (shown above) “Black Bird” depicts only one of 30 million plastic storage bags stuffed with radioactive waste in the Fukushima area in Japan. These bags are part of a seemingly futile effort to clean up contaminated soil in the area. In the bottom right corner of my painting you can see a little black bird. It refers to what appears to be an gradual decline of the bird population as a direct result of the triple nuclear power plant meltdown. There is now a dead zone in the area.
“Black Bird” is currently being shown in the “HERStory 2016” exhibition, and won the Special Recognition Second Place Cash Award.
Please tell us what inspired another powerful and expressive painting of yours titled “Erupting Geyser”
MLD: On one of my trips to Iceland I was in awe of the rough, raw beauty and at the same time felt an underlying nervousness that Mother Nature could destroy it at any moment. The air was pristine and the creative industries there are among the biggest in the country. The sky and light were memorable and the steaming geysers gave evidence of the immense amount of thermal power under the land.
What keeps you motivated to tackle such difficult topics?
As an artist I am creating works that bring a very different approach and view than what is found in the scientific and academic worlds. I know that art has the power to challenge me and also to change the world to make it a better place.
“HERStory 2016” was an initiative to bring the art created by outstanding women artists to larger audiences and give them the recognition they deserve. This exhibition, which ran from March 20-May 20, 2016, featured 48 extraordinary women artists from around the world.
The top Award-Winners were selected for their artistic excellence in their chosen mediums and for the insightful artist’s statements that accompanied their submissions. Additionally, each artist exemplifies a strong professional commitment to having produced a powerful body of work.
Featured Artist Interview Award
First Place Special Recognition Cash Award
I endeavor to empower and unite women of all ages and ethnicities by revealing them from both the inside and out. These images show stages of transformation from the real to the ethereal. My collaborations with the women I photograph and videotape establish a common ground between us in which to share what is often kept inside. Visit Suzanne Bucklers page in the Artist Showcase Gallery.
Mary Lou Dauray
Second Place Special Recognition Cash Award
My art addresses my concern about climate destruction, air pollution and social injustice. Birds are dying and despair prevails among the 160,000 people forced to evacuate their homes in Fukushima, Japan. My new series is an interpretation of 30 million plastic bags stuffed with one ton of radioactive soil as the government is desperately trying to remove land contaminated by the nuclear meltdowns. Visit Mary Lou Dauray’s page in the Artist Showcase Gallery.
Third Place Special Recognition Cash Award
Artist Showcase Award
When choosing art to bring into our homes or offices it is often illuminating to know what compelled the artists to create it. What inspires them? What do they strive to communicate to us?
The answers we receive may add enormous pleasure to our viewing experience. For some artists it is equally important that their art provide a transformative experience for their viewer as well as for themselves.
Header image: Painting by Mary Lou Dauray
All rights reserved. Do not copy any images without the artist’s permission. Click on images for larger views.
Click on artists’ names to visit their pages on this website.
“My art is always a journey of discovery into the essence of being. It is an effort to externalise the truth of my own existence on as many levels as possible and communicate a greater awareness of the quality of life. It is an attempt to generate enquiry into the greater spheres of understanding which lie beyond conventionalised intellection.”
“When I begin a painting I know that, apart from a strong urge to create and a highly developed instinctual direction with tools and materials, there can be no specific design or plan for the picture as a finished product.”
“My roots of inspiration are my life long love of nature, art and music. As a bronze sculptor, my primary focus is to distill my chosen subject matter into its ultimate expressive synthesis of beautiful form, gesture and spirit.”
“We must each hold a personal sacred hoop in our hearts, and we must each cultivate our Light-filled relationships in any arenas which beckon us. We must live like we matter, and my nature-spirit-art is a daily reminder of that.”
“My goal is to uplift, inspire and support you on your journey through life. I wish to excite you as you gaze upon the images of Nature that I create. I feel that I am revealing the soul of Nature, and hope that you too, experience the love that I have in my heart for the world around me.”
“The more I learn about coal the more I know that I need to use my art to bring attention to this serious pollution situation. My artwork is my voice. Intense alarm would be an understatement in trying to describe the feelings generated as I continue doing this series. I know that I need to use my art to bring attention to this serious pollution situation.”
“The images (in the ‘Survival Series’) capture me and the disease at discrete moments but they have been modified by my aesthetic process and by machines much like my own body. It is my aspiration that these personal images can be a shared healing for myself and for others.”
In the spirit of honoring and celebrating Mothers and Mother Nature and the many ways they nurture us we are delighted to present Allison Coelho-Picone, Mary Lou Dauray, and Joanne St-Cyr — five outstanding artists in the Manhattan Arts International online gallery.
Allison Coelho-Picone’s resilient natural formations helped her to evolve in her style and also to explore the themes of motherhood and life after death. “Each painting’s message embraces what (Mother) Nature provides us, that of a stillness, a peace, and light in our hearts. Nature can heal, calm, and clarify if one absorbs Her patience, silence and beauty.” Read more.
Mary Lou Dauray
Mary Lou Dauray expresses the importance of protecting Mother Earth by devoting her art to the dangers that threaten the planet’s healthy existence and our survival — such as global warming and coal burning. She states, “I want to encourage others to use their voices to show concern about environmental plundering and encourage the development of alternative energy sources.” Read more.
About (Mother) Nature Joanne St-Cyr states, “She is magnificent, still unpredictable and resilient. At times she feels harnessed, laced within our control and will let herself drift until she regains her energy, man should be weary and respectful… she, will never give up.” Read more.
When viewing artists in their creative zones we may immediately sense their professional focus, steadfast commitment, pride, and satisfaction. In this article you’ll meet a few members of Manhattan Arts International.
Each artist has their own special and unique personality and equally unique artistic expression. And, as you can see, whether they create masterpieces in their basement studios or out in nature these spaces are their sanctuaries and they are content to be there.
I encourage you to click on their page links to learn more about them and visit their individual websites.
The header image is Elliot Appel with his paintings.
Joanne St-Cyr ~ Painting With Precision
Joanne St-Cyr creates a world of fantasy and symbolism with a masterful prowess. Visit her page.
Elliot Appel ~ Exhibiting with Pride
Elliot Appel reflects the unique essence and energy of New York City. Visit his page.
Elaine Franz Witten ~ Carving A Sculpture
Elaine Franz Witten captures grace and elegance with classical sculpting expertise employing the lost wax method. Visit her page.
Linda S. Watson ~ Taking An Art Break
The ebullient artist Linda S. Watson shares the natural beauty of Hawaii and the cosmos. Visit her page.
Shulin Sun ~ Blending East With West
Shulin Sun expresses the innate sense of strength and resiliency in nature. Visit his page.
Isabelle Gautier ~ Releasing The Energy
Isabelle Gautier expresses her love of nature, color and design in universal abstract paintings. Visit her page.
Elke Daemmrich ~ Standing Proud
An award-winning artist Elke Daemmrich has a mastery of design, color and composition. Visit her page.