Welcome to the online studio of Mara Manning. Mara paints in a room overlooking beautiful Lake Michigan. Mara’s cold wax and oil paintings are textural works that seek to make memories and the passage of time visible. Encoding is the crucial first step to creating a new memory. It allows the perceived item of interest to be converted into a construct that can be stored in the brain. We pay attention to our environment in momentary glimpses. If a construct was laid down then these “sights” remain in our subconscious. These sights/constructs are flattened and stacked in our minds and similarly in my paintings. Each work is built of many layers to create a physical memory on the painting’s surface. Mara’s abstract paintings evolve from an interest in combining memories that explore the depth of our visual experience through varied levels of complexity. Her paintings follow three threads or directions in style. The first of these are abstract landscape/cityscape paintings. They utilize references to actual places and and atmospheric kind of space. The second are what she calls “magic realism”. These paintings incorporate personal symbols and a somewhat illustrative narrative. The third group she calls “shape shifting” and these are abstract groupings of shapes that nest, pile, push or interact with one another in some way.
Click any image below and it will take you further into the gallery to view works of a similar size or series.
Mara is currently represented by Cappaert Contemporary, Egg Harbor, WI; eclectic Gallery, Crested Butte, CO; Higher Art Gallery in Traverse City MI, and The District Gallery, Knoxville, TN. Mara has participated in many juried and invitational exhibitions locally and nationally. Please see the CV link for a full listing.
!!! Mara is excited to attend a workshop this coming summer in Chicago. There she will study with Lisa Pressman and Jeffrey Hirst and 10 other participants. She is excited to engage in some constructive critique and conversation as she continues to explore the myriad of compositional possibilities that await her developing new works.
!!! Mara will be teaching a one day cold wax and oil workshop at Higher Art Gallery in Traverse City MI. Sunday May 19. Please follow up or contact her for more details.
Check back regularly for additions to the collection. Use the contact page if you are interested in learning more about Mara and her work.