FREAK OUT!! Mary Jones Easley
Tell us about your current series.
I have created a series of portraits of friends and people who inspire me as well as an ongoing series of mood based paintings. I am currently working on a collaborative series of paintings with my husband, Martin Easley.
Do you remember the 1970’s and if so what are three highlights of that time frame for you?
Having grown up in the midwest with five older siblings, our house was bustling with life and we spent some time together as a family watching television. As I was too young to go to clubs, I enjoyed watching the performances on American Bandstand and Soul Train. Even at a young age, what I was seeing on television had a big influence on me. I recall spending an amount of time in front of the mirror, practicing the swooping hairstyles and grandiose makeup of the dancers I had watched on the television.
Tell us about the artwork you are submitting for the exhibition.
I am submitting 5 disco girl portraits for the disco ball installation. They range in size from 5" x 7" and 6" x 6" and have all been completed with colored pencil. I sought my inspiration from my memories of what I was seeing on television during the disco era.
Do you use photography as a reference for your artwork?
I prefer to photograph the subjects myself for my artwork. I find I connect better with the subject and I am ultimately more passionate about the piece. But there is a certain point at which I set the photo aside and rely more on my intuition. I use the photography as reference, but I rely on intuition to convey to the viewer a sense of who the person is… a sense that they know the person. Working from my own original photography and vision is the most genuine way for the viewer to walk away feeling like they know the person in my work.
Do you listen to music while you work?
Because I am hypersensitive to my surroundings, the less input the better. I seldom listen to music while I paint. I prefer the quiet.
What collections would you like your work to end up in?
My paintings belong with collectors who have an emotional, appreciative reaction to my work.