Mandie is one of my very best friends and one of the most inspiring artists that I have the pleasure of rubbing shoulders with.
I couldn’t think of anyone I would rather have as my first feature interview for our new Artist Profile series!
Where do you live:
Right in the Heart of Atlanta Georgia
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Colorado and lived there til I was 6. Then we moved to Adairsville Georgia, a super small rural town with horses and cows and one red light.
Do you think that your childhood played a big part in your being so creative?
Absolutely! My parents always encouraged us to make things, paint things, be outside, use our imaginations, that most definitely had a huge impact on my need to be creative as an adult.
Who got you started in making art? (A teacher? A musician? Another person?)
Besides my family, there have been many people who have really made a difference in my artistic life. I would say that my High School art teacher, Jennifer O’Neal is at the top of the list. For many years, she allowed me to use the art supply storage closet as my own personal studio because she knew I worked better in solitude, she bought me live goldfish as inspiration (and company), she recommended me for the Governor’s Honors Program as an Art Major, she arranged for me to take classes at the Booth Western Art Museum with well known artists like Carrie Ballantyne and Kim Wiggins…all of these things shaped me artistically and I’m so thankful for her!
What is your favorite thing to do to get you in a creative mood?
Fix a cup of coffee, open the door for a fresh breeze, turn on some music and organize my paints/colored pencils/whatever. A clean space inspires new things:)
Who inspires you as an artist:
I took a Mentorship Program with Albert Handell a couple years ago. He paints mostly outside. He will walk up to something that might not look like much…but when he starts painting it, it just comes to life and turns into this gorgeous art piece. No wonder he is in Artist Magazine all the time and he has his work in many galleries. I think the most inspiring thing to me is that although up in age, this man paints every single day! He has this NEED to create things and he doesn’t ignore it. I love that!
Tell us about your most recent works and why you decided to create them:
Lately, I have been painting butterflies and goldfish with mechanical gears. The first one came about as a personal art piece, a sort of Cote of Arms for my husband and I that hangs by our front door. I love goldfish and he loves cars/gears so I really wanted to create something that represented us both. A Mechanical Goldfish! The Mechanical Butterfly came later just for fun. I am hoping to create some more pieces along these lines….we shall see. Also, I’ve been working on a commissioned oil painting of the San Francisco bridge, which was so fun to create.
Where can we find you making art:
Now since the weather is beautiful, its time for some plein air painting and I am looking forward to participating in a paint out event called “Paint Duluth” this upcoming weekend. Those paintings are always fun because its kind of a surprise what you will be painting until you find your inspiration for the day. I give myself 5 minutes once I get out of my car to find something to capture and then go for it. What an adventure painting can be:)
Where can we find your work for sale:
I just opened a little shop on Etsy called Golden Fin Studios and you can find it here: www.etsy.com/shop/GoldenFinStudios
Thanks so much to Mandie for being willing to answer all those questions! You are a champ!
Check out her blog for the latest in her amazing-ness!