Updated: Jan 5, 2019
It was a pleasure to make contact with North Beach painter Maryann Devereux, a supporter and exhibitor with Army Art. Maryann's work is full of the textures and colours of the Australian landscape, in particular the beach and ocean that she finds endlessly inspiring. Maryann, who has always loved to draw, has a professional background in technical drawing and drafting. Moved to express herself more freely Maryann formalised her visual art training through Carine TAFE once her youngest son was at school.
Describing her recent work as taking an impressionistic style, Maryann's love of texture remains a defining stylistic element. Working in acrylic paint, using moulding paste and collage of her own handmade papers, Maryann's artwork has a sculptural, tactile quality that prompts the viewer to want an up close and personal exploration of the layers and earthy qualities of her compositions.
As well as working as a professional artist Maryann loves to share her knowledge and skills. An experienced workshop facilitator Maryann finds meaning and satisfaction teaching and encouraging people living with disability to express their creativity.
Army Art’s theme for the 2018 exhibition is Transition. Has making art helped you with any important life transitions?
Definitely, the act of making art I find is therapeutic, almost like meditation. I can immerse myself in that moment so it remains a constant in my life and as there can be many transitions big and small, good and bad, with art there it keeps life grounded.
Can you describe your artistic process to our readers?
My artistic process differs with subjects. Sometimes I get so excited by a photo I’ve taken, at others an idea grows until I start dreaming about it, then I know I have to put it to canvas. Then I have to decide how I can best paint this painting to show what it means to me. For example how something that looks so strong and awesome can actually be so fragile in their environment so I want to portray that in my paintings.
How does your life experience and emotional state feed into your art?
I work from photographs that I have taken myself so I can take myself back to that place hear the sounds, smell the smells.
I have been very lucky to have the experience of travelling to some wonderful places, especially in Australia, and to live near the ocean, but some will affect me quite emotionally and eventually I have to paint what I have experienced.
What are important strategies or choices you make that help support your creative process?
My main choice is to work in my own space on my own. I call it 'Maryland' and I can immerse myself. I also consciously work on more than one painting at a time. This method I find stops me overpainting and makes me take time to step back and review what I’ve done.
What does your workspace look like?
I’m lucky to have my own studio and it’s a good size and a mess. I collect all sorts of objects, leaves, dead marine life off beaches, anything I think may work in texture or just gives me inspiration.
What strategies do you use to help yourself when you feel “stuck?”
I have collected articles and photos of artists work that inspire me, I might look through them or art books I have and then my photos. Even just wandering around my studio can get me motivated.
How do you define Creativity?
Creativity to me is to expand on the subject matter you are viewing, to make it your own, putting your feelings into it so it means something not just a reproduction of a photo.