Artist Mary Mocas and I are members of The San Francisco Advocacy for The National Museum of Women in the Arts. On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., Mary invited me to attend the Springtime stARTup Fair in San Francisco where I learned about this accomplished abstract artist. I loved a particular work of hers called, The Bowery II. So, I bought it! Keep reading to learn how she creates her abstract works with pieces of paper and objects she finds on the city streets. Without further ado, Mary Mocas is my very special RSVP guest blogger for this week’s Report. Enjoy!
Robin: When did you first start creating abstract art?
Mary: I first began working abstractly 15 years ago.
R: Who or what inspired you to start this genre of art?
M: Nature was initially the inspiration for my abstraction. I looked at painters like Terry Winters and Georgia O’Keefe who paint organic shapes abstracted from nature and I began to photograph and paint seaweed when I was at the beach.
R: If you weren’t an artist, what do you think you would be doing?
M: If I weren’t an artist I would probably be an architect or an interior designer.
R: Part of your evolving creative process is collecting strips of posters and other pieces
of paper that you find on poles, walls and buildings. What do you think makes this special about your artwork?
M: I have worked with the texture of antique paper combined with paint for many years. In the last few years I have discovered the beauty, and energy of the paper I find on the street. I think that what is special about using found paper is the ability to take an existing message and change that message in interesting ways.
R: How do you hope your abstract artwork will impact art lovers?
M: I hope that my artwork will intrigue, puzzle and energize the people who see it.
R: What do you think sets you apart from other abstract artists?
M: What sets me apart from other artists is the way that I use paper and paint together to create artwork. Also, my viewpoint as a person with many life experiences gives my work a historical perspective.
R: Which galleries are currently showing your paintings and how can readers of The
Report view/purchase your work?
M: My work is currently available through the Mocas Group Art Consultants. Studio visits can be arranged to view my available pieces or I can send images to interested parties. My website has many images as well.
R: Describe the process of helping your clients select artwork for their homes. Where do
M: When I am wearing my Art Consultant hat, I help clients by first determining their budget and their likes and dislikes in art. Then, I gather images for them to view. Once we narrow down to specific pieces, we bring those to their home or office to view in person.
R: Do you have any tips for commissioning artwork direct with an artist?
M: To commission artwork from an artist it is generally advisable to have a third party, either a gallery or a consultant involved. They will create a contract which will specify what the finished piece will be based upon, the cost and payment schedule, and the completion date. It is also a good idea to understand the commission history of the artist. Some artists just do not work well on a commission basis.
R: Do you have any advice for people just starting an art collection?
M: To begin a collection of art, visiting artist open studios is a good starting place. There are also many non-profits that have auction fundraisers. Bargains can often be found at these auctions. If a new collector can, it is great to visit local galleries, non-profits and take time to determine the kinds of art that attract his or her interest. Ask questions, learn about the artists, and take your time to become knowledgeable. Of course, a consultant can short-cut this process, but a consultant is not necessary to create a great collection over time.
Mary Mocas began making art at a young age in Dayton, Ohio, and she continued doing so through high school and college, where she majored in Art and English. After 2 years of teaching art to elementary students and 20 years traveling the world as a Flight Attendant, she started her business, The Mocas Group Art Consultants, which has provided art for corporate and private clients for 26 years. In 2005 she began making painted collages as a way to be more creative. In 2014, Mary returned to California College of the Arts to receive a Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting."
Thank you, Mary!