Mary C. Nasser makes maps in mixed media with authentic features, paints and dream worlds. I met her several years ago at Art Every Day Month and loved her maps at first sight so I followed her career with interest and admiration. Since then she has had her work in art galleries and exhibitions. Today I interview her about her creative space.
PS: I´m so glad she brought Bruno along!
1) The day you stepped into your creative space for the first time, did you already know how you wanted your studio to look like or did the design evolve from the actual space?
In addition to having converted an extra bedroom into a studio in my home, I’ve been fortunate enough to have experienced eight artist-in-residence programs. And whether it was setting up my studio in my home for the first time or on the Big Island of Hawaii for a 2-week residency or in a National Park for an extended period of time, I love large areas of flat space – long tables – the more, the better! I love natural light, too! A comfy chair on wheels helps. And music, too. I’ve always got books in my studio also – mostly old atlases and vintage geography textbooks – for inspiration and to collage into my mixed-media paintings. And Bruno gets a comfy pet-bed in my studio at home as a reward for keeping me good company while I paint!
2) After the work is done, do you clean up after each piece, after each day or whenever you can´t find the table anymore?
I think the only thing I clean after each painting session are my brushes! And even yesterday, I forgot to do that! I work best when my work and supplies are covering my tables and are visible to me. If something’s put away, out of sight, I tend not to use it.
Mornings are my best time to create. I like to get up early, have a cup of coffee and make a list of 2-3 art things to do that day. I take my four-year-old puppy on a l-o-n-g walk to wear him out, then paint til lunch. And paint more after lunch until dinner.
Music, definitely. I always work to music. My favorite music to listen to while I create is Van Morrison. He sings about trains and water and healing. His music reaches my soul. His music brings back wonderful memories for me, too – I got to see him in concert in England the summer I studied Art History abroad in London.
4) Which is your next project?
I plan to continue in this map art series, layering vintage maps with acrylic paintings, combining my StencilGirl map stencil designs with the cartographic and text rubberstamps I designed for RubberMoon. I have a solo and two-person show I’m working towards, too. Having goals with deadlines is good for me.