Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Featured Member Interview: Mary Neligan

Mary at work

What inspires you to create?
Sometimes it’s the wood with the different patterns, knots or shapes.  Sometimes it’s the odd metal parts that I‘ve found or been given.  Lately it’s been a theme or concept of a fish that makes me laugh and I search through my hoard of parts to create that fish.

When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?

I’ve always been a piddler, tinkering with tools, wood, glass, and the like.  When our talented member and my good friend, Jean Skipper, told me she could sell my fish in her gallery I was amazed.  I had a reason and a purpose behind my piddling.  I later realized Jean bought most of my first fish, but it got me started.


If you weren’t an artist what would you be?
I would still be working in the Emergency Room.  With 12-hour shifts you always had 4 days of the week to decompress and work on projects.

What other jobs have you had which aided you on your artistic path?
Daddy Gar
When my boys were young I was able to be a stay at home mom.   My friend Joanne and I taught ourselves how to use a miter box and chair railed everything.  We laid flooring, painted, and wallpapered.  We mastered the bigger saws and built a dog house.  My dog never slept in it.  It has a bit heavy… needing a forklift to move it, but it looked good.   

 At the art store which section do you gravitate to first?
The one with the most colorful display.   They may be displaying something I know nothing about or have no need for, but I will be sucked in.   I have bought amazing things I know nothing about from fabulous colorful displays. 

What new technique or art form would you like to learn?  Have you made plans to do so?
Sally Sells
I have always wanted to learn to batik.  This past Monday I took a class with our own Liz Miller. I liked the element of surprise in a completed batik work.  More batik projects are now swimming through my head at an alarming rate.  I have fish orders that need to be filled first. So much art and not enough time. Batiking will happen, but back burner for now.

If you could do anything, and could not fail, what would you choose to do?
Mrs. Latchy
I’ve toyed with the idea for years of acquiring one of little cinderblock buildings you see dotting the rural highways of North Carolina.  You know the ones… mostly abandoned now, they use to be mom and pop stores, repair shops, and the like.  I would like to completely mosaic the exterior of the building with a landscape theme with monsters, gargoyles, and of course fish.  The store would become a junk shop with displays of found and upcycled art.  Give ideas to all on what they can create with discarded items.  They have the choice to create or to buy from all of us who create, tinker, and piddle.

There'd be lots of CMMAG members who'd be regular visitors to your store, Mary!  Thanks for the interview.


Jodi Ohl said...

:) Mary you make me smile! Love ya.

Sharon DiGiulio said...

You AND your fish make me smile!

Katherine D. Stein said...

I love the fish!!

I'm Toni said...

I love your fish and your sense of humor, Mary!
Also love this blog!