Maureen Clark and I met through a fellow artist and former interviewee, Alison Stittsworth-Hall, at the time that Alie was interviewed. She and Maureen share a #138 studio with Colleen Scott at 400 West Rich and I had the opportunity to see Maureen’s work while there and then during Franklinton Fridays when she had a solo show in the Northern Gallery (Colleen will have her work on display there this month for the Fridays event). After we talked online, we met at her studio to get to know each other better and to discuss her art. I found out that she, Alie and Colleen met during 2015 Urban Scrawl and the ladies asked her if she would be interested in becoming a studio mate as they wanted to move to a larger space in 400. As Maureen was working in her parents’ garage, she jumped at the chance and has enjoyed making the change, getting to know Colleen and Alie and all of the other amazing artists in Franklinton.
Like so many other artists I have interviewed, Maureen has been creating art for as long as she can remember. Her mother actually just told her a story of her childhood…Growing up in Clintonville… My young childhood home had white siding, one day my mother discovered that I had colored the side of the house. To me it was an empty canvas!
Her family and friends tried to encourage her to attend CCAD. However, after a college rep from CSCC (Columbus State) came into her independent study art class to discuss a new study of graphic design, she was intrigued. To her, this was a way to express and create while supporting herself financially…Win-win situation! At Columbus State, her study was Integrated Media (graphic design). My art training is self taught, beyond high school, random classes/instruction since and self study. My profession is as an Artist, however I do teach art to kids and adults at an art studio in Bexley (Art by Anna).
Instead of following the path to a Graphic Design career, she worked many different interesting jobs particularly selling a line of Irish clothing and textiles (love me another Irish girl!) and traveled. Over the years, she’s traveled across the U.S. and Ireland and spent a few years living in Philadelphia. Her solo trek across parts of Ireland (on my bucket list, so jealous!) and her time traveling and living in South Philly where she also worked at an urban florist/garden center, have influenced her art in many ways.
While in Philadelphia, she turned to painting again, to get her through some difficult times. When returning home, her painting continued to develop into the style she uses to express herself now. On her birthday three years ago, she made a commitment to herself: I would take all the knowledge from my experiences and travels, direct it towards my art. A person I once knew always said, “do something you love and you never work a day in your life”. I never really understood it, until I started this journey. So now she art has become her profession as well as teaching art to children and adults at a studio in Bexley.
Beyond high school and some random classes/instruction in painting, Maureen is self-taught. She categorizes her art as …Oh geez, ugh! LOL! Well, I would describe it as Archetictural Impressionist Expressionism! She loves lines and structure, however, her hand is loose so the lines are soft. Due to the large brush strokes and use of color, her paintings have movement and depth.
Often she starts by using her fingers to blend and ends up with several brushes in her hands…LOL! In her words, the beauty of her creating is that she is never quite sure where it will take her. Sometimes I step back from the canvas and think “huh, well that’s interesting”.
Everyday inspires her, just life itself: people, places, experiences that she encounters everyday. She loves to observe life. Because she had speech issues when young and learning difficulties throughout school, her art became a way for her to communicate and it still is. Instead of telling a story and describing a situation, she can paint it so others can see and feel what she did…she’s inspired by her experiences.
My paintings are a sea of experiences. They always take me back to a time and place I once was. There is this moment when painting where everything disappears, the painting even seems to. You are not thinking about technique, color or scale. The world blurs out and your hand moves to some sort of rhythm in your soul. That is the best way for me to describe it. Or to compare it to the runners high, where everything disappears and you are just feeling good.
Every second Friday of the month during Franklinton Fridays, she and her studio partners open their studios for the public to experience. She will also be participating in Dark Love Show at Vanderelli Room in February (along with about 20 other female artists including me!) in The Black and White Color Show (I will also be in that show with a collaborative work with Mindy Staley) at the Vanderelli Room in March. In addition, she has recently begun to create a new collection specifically for a new website featuring a curated collection of fine artists that will be launched this year. Besides those new ventures, she received recognition from the City of Dublin in partnership with ADAMH for her involvement with the Dublin Tunnel Mural, with Eliza Ho of ALTernative. When asked to give me more info on this, she stated: I was the lead artist on SoHud 2.0 Mural in Clintonville off of Hudson Street when I returned from Philly a few years ago and was lucky to participate in the Tunnel Mural in Dublin last year. ALTernative mural projects are community based projects with community days for the residents to come and participate in painting the mural. It is really so much fun to be a part of! Maureen states that she will be participating in much more throughout the year so check her Facebook page for event updates.
One of the really wonderful parts of doing these interviews for me is to get to know the artists personally and spend time just chatting in person, hopefully. Often times, we get onto other subjects such as women in art, women in society, the art scene in Columbus and so much more. AND often times, I get to see works in progress, hear where they are going, etc. I’m happy that I had such an opportunity with Maureen at her studio because we talked about all of the above as well as her dreams for her future in the arts. She has been working hard to find balance and support herself through her art so we talked about that…the way to promote yourself, learn the business end of art as well as creating…and I think she has a pretty good handle on how that will pan out for her. Ideally, in the future, she would love to have her own studio where she will be able to display, work and teach (cause she loves the creativity of kids and their innocence). I am pretty certain that she is gonna make this happen as she is not only talented but has a good head on her shoulders…I’ll keep you posted!
Contact info for readers:
614 264 4641
Facebook page: Maureen E Clark Art