Artist Interview: Mary Ann Rodriguez Veatch

It’s artist interview time! Today we’re talking with artist Mary Ann Rodriguez Veatch. Her work is on display at Xico as part of the Fuerte exhibition through May 15.

1. How does your cultural and family background influence the subjects and style of your art?

My artwork and style was influence by my culture and being Hispanic. Also, a lot of my artwork was influenced by my family tradition, what was shared and pass down through the generations while growing up and what was shared with us by my parent’s parents and my parent’s life experience. I have a great deal of passion for art, growing up seeing the colorful festivities, and being brought up in a close-nit family. I also believe the vibrant colors that I use in my artwork are my communication of my life that I want to share with everyone.

The title of this exhibit is “Fuerte.” What did that make you think about?

When I saw the call for artist at Xico Inc. I was intrigued by this subject matter, because I believed this subject matter was easy. I believe being Hispanic and being a Hispanic woman you often see this within our culture. We are very strong and passionate people and are full of life. I believe I am the same way too.

2. Can you describe your artistic process? What happens between inspiration and finished piece?

You wouldn’t believe how many inspirations I am inspired by; my brain is going 100 miles an hour. Many of my paintings have subject matter that is very personal, something that happened to me in my life or my “Alma.” I believe god gave me my hands to paint what I see so others can see what I feel inside my heart. There was a piece that was auctioned off at the Xico auction that meant a lot to me. I shared my inspiration with the buyer. The painting was a Monosilk Print call “Mi Alma.” This paintings was influenced and inspired by what I lost many years ago and what I have now. The heart represented a child that I lost in 1988; I know deep down that the angels in heaven have her in their heart. So, this was  my inspiration. Another, painting that’s currently exhibit at Xico was inspired by what I saw while growing up, my father rode horses and he dressed like a vaquero. Also, I grew up hearing music and seeing my father and uncles playing music instruments and singing.

3. Do you remember when you first identified yourself as “an artist”?

The first time I knew I was an artist was in third grade, my teacher Ms. Engelhart gave me a nice compliment on a painting I did and that was my inspiration that I held on for so many years. Also, I identified myself as an artist was back in the 70’s, one night El Moises and I were sharing life experience as an artist. I grew up in the time of the Chicano Movement, low riders, and graffiti too believe it or not. I used to paint murals on low riders, also painting and drawing Cholitos.  But when I truly identified myself as an artist was in 2006, I was so proud of myself because I sold my first art piece to this lady for $$$, this painting was called “Mi Abuelita” I was inspired to paint my great nana Maria…I was so small but still remember her like it was yesterday. So this is when I truly felt like a professional artist.

4. What’s next for you, as an artist?

As an artist my plans are to grow further than where I am now, I do have a few shows I hope to exhibit in, like ALAC “2011 Inaugural Latina Artist: Honoring & Celebrating Madres~Madonnas~Mujeres”, also, the Ice House also in May and other exhibits throughout the year, i.e. Botanical Garden – Dia de los Muertos, Xico Dia de los Muertos show, hopefully this year I participate in the Spanish Market, 4th Avenue Tucson Show in December, and another show in December with my dear friend Emily Costello.

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