Interview With Mo Conlan
My art is about beauty and soul, with a touch of playfulness. Color. Line. Joy. Connection. I paint on the front and on all four sides of the canvas as I like to hang my paintings unframed. They fill my home with color and joy. I love children’s art. (We all start out as artists.) I adore Matisse – his line, his color, his sense of place. I love Chagall. Klimt. I am delighted by primitive art, Mexican and Aboriginal art. Miro. Calder. Hockney. Many contemporary artists including Cincinnatians Ursula Roma and Susan Naylor. I like storytelling art and I sometimes put little stories on my canvases.
I Love This Rabbit
Joy And Blessing
Chris Aris: Tell me a little about yourself?
Mo Conlan: I live in a pretty little house chock full of art – my own and others’ — with my two cats, Brody and Delilah. I spent 30 years as a writer and editor at a daily newspaper – until it went out of business. I write fiction, poetry, non-fiction and children’s stories. I try to balance my two passions – writing and art. My writing and art appear on my web site.
CA: What drives you to create art?
Mo Conlan: I find such joy in it. I become completely immersed – flowing with the energy and creativity of the universe.
CA: How long have you been making art?
Mo Conlan: I have been making art for more than 15 years. I began by making art on the computer – teaching myself to “paint” with the paint program. I moved on to canvases, to canvases with collage, 3-dimensional books, to art dolls and other art objects that use bottles and recycled packaging, etc.
CA: How do you approach each painting?
Mo Conlan: My art comes about organically – something in my environment captures my attention, a landscape, a color, a feeling. I start with that and then paint intuitively. After I’ve gotten something down on canvas, I look at it more critically and keep working on it until I am satisfied. I tend not to give up on a painting – to just keep at it, change it, add to it – until I have something I like.
CA: You use a variety of mediums and bright color. Can you talk about some of the techniques you employ?
Mo Conlan: Variety of mediums and bright colors. I will try anything to make a piece of art– painting with brushes, with my fingers, with odd tools, using 3-D papercraft, fabric, bling – whatever I can think of. For me, art is constant, changing exploration. I love bright colors. They seem happy and recall the direct art of children. One of my favorite pieces of art that hangs in my house is a child’s drawing of a green bird with fancy plumage who wears a pair of black reading glasses.
CA: Which artists have had the greatest affect on your work?
Mo Conlan: Please see artist statement above. I have a treasury of art books — the impressionists, the fauves, colorists, expressionists, etc. If I had to choose just one art book to take on a desert island, it probably would be the Matisse. I could learn endlessly from his line, his color, his shapes, his great affection.
CA: How would like you like people to engage with your art?
Mo Conlan: I hope my art elicits feelings of joy, pleasure, shared appreciation of life
CA: Do you have anything exciting on the horizon?
Mo Conlan: I belong to a group called Art for Artists. We share our art and expertise. We are involved in creating a series of art books, with each participant adding two pages to each book. Eventually, we will have 20 books that will be exhibited.
Christopher Aris is an artist, born New Year’s Day. He has an affinity for art and music. After living in Spain and being inspired, he returned to his home town, Austin, Texas, to study fine arts at St. Edward’s University. Much of his art includes drawing and mixed media. Currently, Christopher lives in Austin, teaching drawing and painting.