Interview with Mary Medrano, Painter
Interview with Mary Medrano, Painter
Recently, I had the opportunity and pleasure of interviewing painter Mary Medrano. Mary Medrano is a painter living in Bend, Oregon. Mary paints dogs and other animals among other things. Please see some of Mary’s daily paintings, and visit Mary’s website.
KATHERINE CARVER: What were your beginnings as a painter and when did you realize it would become your chosen form of expression?
MARY MEDRANO: I began painting after the dot-com bust in 2001. My job as an Art Director for an Ad Agency in Silicon Valley fizzled, and I needed to figure out what I was going to do next. I took an online course at Quilt University called Fabric Painting. After the class was over I continued painting, gave myself an art show, and from that point on I have been painting and showing my work.
KATHERINE CARVER: Did you study art formally?
MARY MEDRANO: I have a B.A. in Photography from Western Michigan University and a degree from University of California Santa Cruz in Graphic Design and Visual Communications. I am self-taught in painting, but have taken many courses in drawing and painting from George Rivera, Holly Roberts, Michael Azgour and Jim Smyth to name just a few. I am also grateful for artist friends who have mentored me. You know who you are.
KATHERINE CARVER: What was the impetus that inspired you to begin painting and, in particular, painting dogs and other animals?
MARY MEDRANO: Funnily, the very first painting I ever sold was of a dog. In 2011, I was juried into the 50 50 Show at the Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica, California. The theme for my 50 paintings was dog faces, shown below. The show was a huge success for me, and launched the pet portrait portion of my business. It continues to this day. (Notice Biscuit is the third down on the far left!)
KATHERINE CARVER: Where do you show/exhibit your work?
MARY MEDRANO: I recently moved to Bend, Oregon and I am quickly making contacts in the “art world.” I recently had three (3) paintings selected for The Dog Show at Sisters Artworks Entry Gallery. I just held a Grand Opening at my private Art Studio in downtown Bend and will continue to participate in the monthly Art Walks.
KATHERINE CARVER: Looking back on your accomplishments, to date, what are you the most proud of?
MARY MEDRANO: I am most proud that I am to a point with my painting skills that I am able to teach others the craft of painting. It has been very rewarding. In addition to this, I was most proud of my first solo art show at Gallery Blu in Santa Clara, California.
KATHERINE CARVER: What are you working on now?
MARY MEDRANO: I am just finishing two (2) 16 x 20 inch commissions of dogs for a patron in California and three small commissions for a patron in Minnesota.
I am also working on making new art for galleries in and around my new hometown of Bend. A few examples are shown below.
KATHERINE CARVER: What artists inspire your work?
MARY MEDRANO: I have always loved the German Expressionists, in particular Max Beckmann. I also love the California Society of Six, the Bay Area Figurative Artists, and I most recently discovered the Canadian Group of Seven.
KATHERINE CARVER: What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
MARY MEDRANO: Practice painting daily if possible, even for a short amount of time. I think this is more helpful than painting for long periods of time less frequently. I would also suggest that aspiring artist say ‘yes’ to offers to show their art. Don’t be afraid or shy. Getting exposure in coffee shops, restaurants, friends’ homes, etc. early on is amazing for exposure and almost always leads to the next show. Don’t worry too much about rejections. As someone once said to me, ‘you don’t have to list them on your resume.’ That was very helpful.
If you are interested in contacting Mary or commissioning any paintings by Mary Medrano, please contact Mary here.
All images contained in this blog post were used with the permission of Mary Medrano.
You can read additional interviews here.