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Mara Light

Mara Light was born in 1970 in Brooklyn, New York. Her artistic journey began early in life within the home. "Creativity was always encouraged by my parents," says the daughter of two artists. Her mother studied painting in New York and her father studied photography at the Art Center of Design along with an apprenticeship under acclaimed photographer Bernice Abbott. "I was often drawing and being creative in some form or another," says Mara. In her high school years, Mara started to understand the extraordinary power that art would have on her life. "Art was a way to escape into my own world. It was a place where beauty and deep emotions had a voice. It was easier to paint an emotion than to speak it." She began to take Saturday High School classes at the Art Center College of Design throughout her teenage years. This education continued after high school with night classes where Mara would create her portfolio which resulted in an acceptance to attend the Art Center College of Design. Mara completed her BFA in 1993 though frustrated by some of the unconventional schools of thought among the Art Center faculty. Mara states, "Once I realized that painting the figure was what I loved, it became clear to me that conceptual art was the dominating force in the school and that figurative painting wasn't widely accepted." Later, through close association with the Brentwood Art Center, Mara found an environment where her figurative work was nurtured and had wide market appeal. Mara has worked in the commercial art world and along the way has painted on her own to maintain her independent work. She apprenticed under the acclaimed artist Hiro Yamagata for several years and refined her skills. Her painting experience continued as she worked for a commercial art company and produced numerous contemporary originals. Her work has been commissioned by dozens of private and public collectors. While she feels she has gained immeasurable experiences and has continually been shown in various group exhibitions, now she has made the transition to focus on her own work. Most days Mara can be found painting in her studio in Santa Monica, California. She is currently evolving and working on a series of paintings using the classical female form and looking forward to building relationships with new galleries.
When I paint I am inspired by the presence of the model or subject whose influence transforms my environment into a deeply personal and emotional experience. The beginning of a painting is finding a person or element of nature that so inspires me. Sometimes I am moved by the combination of form, color, and lighting, yet most of the time it is my connection to the model that keeps the painting alive for me. Once I have found my subject and the light falls in a particular way, I know I have found my inspiration to capture what I see and feel. I want the painting surface to be full of life. My process continues with a layering system that includes texture, paint, and collage to form an underlying structure to work from. These elements combine to generate the setting for the model or subject matter. I continue with repetitive layering and painting until I feel a sense of harmony is present between these physical components of the piece and the evocative aspects of the subject that I am depicting. My painting process is also characterized by the balance between visual expression of what I see and personal influences that may be hidden within. I experience this process as a series of investigations and discoveries. This interaction between me, the subject, and all of the underlying influences is important to convey on the canvas so that my whole experience is shared with the viewer. They can then share in my journey.

Artist Information:
Name   : Mara Light
Location: Santa Monica CA 
  United States
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