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Oil and mixed media painter. 30+ years experience paintings and exhibiting.
Retired High School art educator 24 years experience.
  • Art Educator
    Ashwaubenon High School — WI, USA
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Mara Manning

Artist Statement

My current work is done in oils and encaustic mixed media.
I am painting with wax media because it allows me to explore a richness in layers and textures using a variety of tools and templates. I have almost left my brushes behind in this work. I am excited to excavate back into pr… Read More
Mara Manning

Artist Statement

My current work is done in oils and encaustic mixed media.
I am painting with wax media because it allows me to explore a richness in layers and textures using a variety of tools and templates. I have almost left my brushes behind in this work. I am excited to excavate back into previous layers and really exploit the versatility of the medium. My process explores the painting surface as I expose or mask particular layers or blocks of color. I look to the history of art to inform my color schemes, specifically the Dutch Baroque period. I love the richness and saturation found in works from that era. As I settle on a color scheme for the pieces I allow the composition and mood to drive the painting. Sometimes I scrape a whole idea away and take a new direction based on the shapes and forms revealed through my physical contact with the painting.

I found myself gravitating to a simple house shape as a the subject matter in my work following the recent sale of my home, a big move, and retirement. Houses, farm buildings and warehouses have always sparked my storytelling imagination. I see personalities and faces in buildings that I take photos of or record in sketchbooks. By layering the buildings or using the shape individually I am able to conjure a feeling of place for me and the viewer. We may not see the same place in the piece but it brings about an immediate reaction, often a naming of where the scene is located. My intention is to keep the works fairly abstract, limiting references to real spaces like roads, fields etc. The compositions emerge once the base layers of the images are painted. I use a loose grid to create a flat yet atmospheric space. On each individual board there may be 3 or 4 “ghost” paintings before the final image makes itself known. Each layer of cold wax and oil is fused using a low temp heat gun. In the final stages of the pieces I allow them to dry and then burnish the wax to create a soft luster on the surface where the wax is the thickest. I hope you enjoy them and find your own place in the image.
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Mara Manning
Artist Bio
(www.behance.net/corgimenow)

Mara is a UW Milwaukee graduate with a BFA in Painting and Drawing. She earned her teaching certificate as an Art Educator from UW-Green Bay and received a Master of Arts in Education from Lesley University. Some of her early influences as an artist incl… Read More






Mara Manning
Artist Bio
(www.behance.net/corgimenow)

Mara is a UW Milwaukee graduate with a BFA in Painting and Drawing. She earned her teaching certificate as an Art Educator from UW-Green Bay and received a Master of Arts in Education from Lesley University. Some of her early influences as an artist included instruction and vision from Leslie Vansen, Adolph Rosenblatt, Tom Uttecht, Bill Williams and Laurence Rathsack.

Mara’s current studio is in her home with a view of lake Michigan as her muse. She recently retired from a 24 year career teaching art at Ashwaubenon High School. Mara has a long history as a painter. Her early memories include a figurative painting class in 7th grade where Tom Seagard was her teacher. During her years in Milwaukee, Mara and artist friends ran a pop up gallery space called Verge. They caught the attention of local media and were covered in the press on several occasions. Exhibits at Verge were exciting happenings and included art work, dance, music and poetry readings. After leaving Milwaukee Mara spent some time in the Brooklyn NY in an up and coming neighborhood called Dumbo. Here, with some of the artist’s from Verge and the addition of new friends she was able to continue her painting and participation with the alternative arts scene during the late 1980’s.
Following the birth of twin sons she and her family moved back to Wisconsin to the Green Bay area so they could raise their boys and pursue careers in education. During this time Mara continued to paint and make connections in the art community in Green Bay. As her children went off to college and her teaching career began to come to a close she is able to pursue her work at a professional level. Mara is currently represented by Cappaert Contemporary in Egg Harbor, WI.
Mara’s exhibition resume includes purchase prize awards in several juried exhibitions as well as a 2nd place overall in the Northern Exposure exhibit at the Bonifas Arts Center in Escanaba MI in 2012. Mara has had solo shows at the Hartwig Gallery at Bay College in Escanaba and at Mr Helsinki in Fish Creek. Her painting has been included in several Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors juried exhibitions. Most recently Mara’s work was selected for Art Prize 2016 in Grand Rapids MI. Mara’s work has been collected by Bay College and community members from Escanaba, Manitowoc, Door County, Beloit WI and San Diego CA.
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