A few years ago, I took a workshop in Williamsburg with artist Mary Alice Braukman. Her approach thrilled and inspired me. She also introduced me to Yupo, a synthetic "paper" that allows paints to shift and flow in many unusual ways. Mary Alice made me realize that although I held a MFA in painting, I still had lots to learn. Because of my enlightening experience with her, I decided to take a different workshop every year.
In 2006, I first met Mary Ann Beckwith, and she introduced me to the Robert Doak pigments. Through Mary Ann, I learned that Doak creates these intense colors in his Brooklyn studio and that they are the most amazing colors ever. Since then I have worked in awe of the unique effects that develop when I use his paints in combination with Yupo. Not only is Mary Ann a gifted artist but she is a dedicated and caring teacher. She introduced me to fractals and to the photo a day astronomy web site. Those pictures from NASA have greatly influenced my work.
|"Peace Anywhere?" ©Mary Montague Sikes|
Other workshops over the years have inspired me. Robert Burridge showed me the way to orange underpainting, and my work grew brighter. Jan Sitts demonstrated the use of a variety of materials and mediums to build up a more sculptural surface on canvas. With layering, she reignited my love of the three-dimension.
A bit of learning from all of my teachers, including Thomas Thorne and Carl Roseburg from the College of William and Mary, shows through in every piece of my work. I suspect it shows through in my teaching as well.
Anyone who is interested in taking one of my workshops can let me know in comments or e-mail, and I will contact you individually. I can promise excitement and new experiences with art. Like me, you will never paint in the same way again once you experience these materials and techniques.
--Mary Montague Sikes