Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Conversation With Mary Syring

Mary Syring, an artist from San Fransico, California, creates beautiful artwork that blends fairy-tales, the powerful presence of nature, and an elemental energy.  What I like the most about Syring's artwork are the multiple layers of meanings and imagery at work within each piece. Syring spoke with ArtSeen about her artwork and artistic inspirations.

Can you tell us a little about your artwork, artistic process, and what types of artistic materials you use?

My art is an extension of myself, I start off with an idea in mind, and it always grows. I'll be half way through a piece and then get some random idea to bring to it and just toss right up in there. Hardly do I ever finish a piece [that] looks exactly as I intended it to, in the beginning I have dozens of thumbnails that can attest to that. I prefer to use ink, watercolor, and gold ink; my favorite surfaces are wood, watercolor and Bristol paper.

"Self Portrait 1"
What inspires you as an artist? Why do you create art?

I seem to be drawn to the slightly creepier aspects of life. Or at least that's what I've been told. But in all honesty, I've never seen my curiosities as creepy or strange, but beautiful and fascinating. I've never once told myself that my interests teetered on the strange side. It's only others that seem to point that out to me. But who is to say what is normal and abnormal really? I'm inspired by the breath and decay of life, I'm inspired by my fears, what frightens me equally interests me. Fairy tales, monsters, that which goes bump in the night, ghosts, hot summer nights, cold foggy days, the stars and the essence of space, the unknown, the unknowing, symbolism, faith, chance encounters, cake, you name it. 

I create art because I don't enjoy expressing myself any other way, because I'm never happier then when I’m working on something of my own. I'm beginning to realize I have a very self-destructive side, I have destroyed many opportunities for myself before, it seems I never do with my artwork though. Me thinks it's a sign I should stick to it.

What types of themes, ideas, or concepts do you explore within in your artwork?

Whatever pops into my head; existentialism in general. I'm fascinated by life cycles and seem to always go back to themes that incorporate them. Same with fairy tales and the innocents that riddle them. 

Who are some artists that you admire, and why?

Well I'd be nowhere without Arthur Rackham. His ink work is what has always inspired me to keep working on my own technique. 

Alphonse Mucha; his design sense was and still is sensational. Nobody has ever been able to master him.

Toulouse Lautrec, his technique in general, the flow and life that dances off of his work fascinates me. But it's more the fact that he's the kind of artist I'd like to have a conversation with. 

"Tongue In Cheek"

What’s the best and worst thing about being an artist?

Everything and nothing at the same time. Sometimes you feel so in tune with all that goes on around you, you whole heartedly believe you see the entire world differently than others. The trees, the birds, the bay, even the air fills your lungs differently. You see through people as if they are just tufts of lace wandering about and conversing before you, and you have to pretend and play dumb. All the while watching the wheels turn inside them. This separates you from the numbers, and this is something you enjoy. Then you realize it's a double edged sword, and if you're not careful you will fall into bouts of loneliness because no one understands you and you feel no one ever really will.

"Deep Within 2"
For more information about Syring and her artwork, visit her blog and website for more details.

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