Mary Manning’s paintings and monotypes are recognized for their exuberant color and strong graphic quality. Her work re ects a lifelong curiosity, commitment to experimentation and exposure to a wide range of creative endeavors.
As a youth, she spent summers at her parents summer stock theatre painting sets and playing in the costume department. In college, her scholastic pursuits encompassed the disciplines of graphic design, painting, English literature, interior design and fashion design, with additional studies in printmaking, jewelry-making, textile-weaving, and doll- and puppet-making.
She pursued successful careers as a graphic designer and art director before focusing exclusively on ne art. Now, Manning soaks up inspiration from literature, music, nature and current events, and continues to participate in professional critique sessions with her artist peers.
“Color, color, color! My work contains a strong graphic element and a sophisticated sense of design, but to me color trumps all other aesthetic considerations. I am a printmaker and painter, and my preferred medium is monotype, which is a one-of-a-kind painting printed on paper. This is the most direct form of printmaking – requiring only pigments, a surface on which to apply them, paper and some form of press.
As a child of the 1960’s, music is a major influence on my work. The beat, pace, rhythm and lyrics of the music I listen to affect my output. My working practice unfolds in a specific tempo depending on my medium and environment. In my studio, my painting process is slow and considered. I arrange, stand back and reflect, rearrange, stop to deliberate, rearrange, alter the composition, change the shape structures, re-balance the elements, ponder the composition, modify the colors, rearrange, and so on until slowly a painting emerges over a length of time. The opposite happens when I print in the printshop. My productivity becomes focused by the built-in limitation of time and the collaborative nature of working with a master printer. I give myself over to the spontaneity and immediacy of the printmaking process. I filter, edit, mix colors, improvise, and generate ideas with quick decisiveness. The combination of these two practices allows me to fully work out my artistic ideas.
I am inspired by literature, music, nature and world events, My past series have included The Jungle Book, Hurricane Katrina, The Gulf Oil Spill, Birds, Flowers, Animals, Music. I am an abstract artist; amorphous shapes and saturated colors are what flow through my brush. My titles remain ambiguous, so that viewers bring. Through the work, I hope they encounter the joy I brought to its creation.”