Friday, August 19, 2011

Etsy Shop Profile: Mary C. Nasser

Blue Ridge Parkway 12, mixed-media/encaustic on canvas
As a member of the Etsy Blog Team, I recently had the opportunity to meet Mary C. Nasser, who is the brilliant mind behind some gorgeous paintings.  You can go straight to her Etsy shop by clicking here.

1. Where/when did you learn to create such stunning art? I earned my Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art: Painting from Michigan State University. During my graduate studies, I also studied Medieval Art History abroad in London, England, and attended a monotype workshop in Mexico City. 

2. What are some of your favorite pieces? Which are the most popular?  I am really enjoying my new goal of creating one painting a week until the end of the year! All of these paintings are inspired by my experience on the Big Island of Hawaii and the dramatic volcanic landscapes which compose the island.

3. How would you describe your creative process?  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 the interconnectedness between surface and subterranean landscapes: exploring the relationships between developments underground and the evolution of the landscape that takes place on the surface – borrowing images from geological diagrams of land formations 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. 

4. Where are some of the places your artwork gets to call home?  My art is at Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona, Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky, and in private collections in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Texas, Germany!

5. I"ve read that you've had wonderful opportunities to study abroad and to study unusual subjects that most artists don't have. How has this influenced your art and the way you see your art?  In 2007, I spent time living and painting in the southwest, examining desert landscapes, where the combination of aridity and erosion exposed the earth’s composition, structure, and layers, the relationships between them, and the deep time they represent. After visiting extinct volcanoes in New Mexico, I longed to see active volcanoes. As a result, I embarked on a residency at Red Cinder Creativity Center in 2008, 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.

6. Is there anything else you'd like others to know about yourself or your shop?  Besides painting, I love traveling, hiking, biking, dancing, studying geology, gardening, writing, posting to my art blog, and spending time with my husband and our 2 senior citizen dogs.  Check out my blog at to learn more about my work and me!

Can you see why I'm enamored with her art?  Having visited many of the places that her art depicts, I feel a strong attachment to the pieces, as though they speak to me, sort of the way fabric speaks to me.  I see the places we've visited when I look at her paintings, and many of the memories of our family vacations come flooding back.  What more could art hope to do?  Do you also see these places?  If you've not had the opportunity to visit them, doesn't her work draw you in and make you want to visit?  Add to this, she has begun creating works that have a modern, fun feel to them.  Just take a look at the one below.

1 comment:

Mary C. Nasser said...

Thank you so much for featuring my art work on your blog, Mary, and for all your kind comments! ♥

Mary C. Nasser