Mary-Anne Stuart (Australia)
Title: In Memory (My Mother’s Embroidery)
Medium: Acrylic paint and paint marker on linen
Size: 21 x 29cm
Inspired by one of the few pieces I have left of my late mother’s many hand embroidered works, this painting references a doily with a blue and white ‘Chinese style willow’ pattern. Mum was hugely creative, something I took for granted as I was growing up and in my younger years. Now that I am carving out my own creative life, separate to my life as a wife and mother, I see mum differently. I also feel all the things I have learnt from watching her; sometimes my fingers just know what to do. Although she’s been dead for over 30 years, I often feel her presence as I fiddle with threads, paintbrushes and paper.
Very much an intuitive artist, Mary-Anne Stuart revels in colour and pattern and nature is her number one inspiration.
“The Banksia plant is my muse and has been my obsession and subject for the last few years. I have coined a phrase – Banksia Imaginata – to describe the body of my artworks that are intuitively created and inspired by the unique structure, colours and patterns found in this Australian native plant species.”
For me, the process of creating is one of real joy and absorption of attention for me and I want people who see my works to realise the preciousness and uniqueness of the natural world. When I let the medium show the way, I feel closer to emulating the randomness of nature – when I try too hard to represent something, it feels too contrived. Working in a variety of media such as oil, acrylic, gouache and watercolour paints, inks, coloured pencils, wax pastels and collage I create works on canvas, wood panel and paper. Occasionally fabric and thread are used.
As a late blooming female artist, I am very aware of the opportunity I have now. Although I’d had art lessons throughout my 20s and 30s, it was the return to study aged 48 after raising my three children that led to an overwhelming urge to immerse myself in learning about and making art. Completion of a BA Media & Communications (majoring in visual communication) in 2014 was followed immediately by a Diploma in Visual Art. In 2020, I quit my part time office job to concentrate solely on making art and running my art business.