An Interview
With Mary

Mary Smith is an artist and art tutor based in Derby. Here is a small interview with Mary in her Banks Mill studio about her inspiration, teaching and 2017 charity work.

Mary Smith is an artist and art tutor based in Derby. Here is a small interview with Mary in her Banks Mill studio about her inspiration, teaching and 2017 charity work.

When did you first discover a passion for art and painting?
It started when I was about 10 years old, I was given lessons by my Great Uncle who was a photographer in Derby and I’ve been drawing and painting ever since. I completed a Fine Art Degree at the University of Derby and now work everyday from my Banks Mill studio.

What are the main inspirations for your work?
The main inspirations for my work are the landscape and anything involving the natural environment, whether this is in the countryside or my garden. The colours and shapes of the nature inspire the journey i will go on through my work.

What do your workshops focus on?
They focus on demonstrations of different techniques and the use of different media. After the demonstration I give attendees practice time to try these new techniques, whilst providing one on one feedback and encouragement. My workshops appeal to mixed abilities but are popular with retired people who have always wanted to paint and now have the time to do so, as well as young mothers that want to be creative.

Mary’s Charity Work
This year I have challenged myself to paint a picture everyday. So far I have completed over 150 pieces of work which are going to be displayed in booklets raising awareness for Dementia UK and Stroke UK. Completing this challenge has been really difficult as a painting normally takes me around 2 to 3 hours and some days if I have other commitments I struggle to find the time. Sometimes I have to do 2 paintings a day in order to stay on top of the challenge! I have completed my paintings in my studio, at home and even whilst on holiday with my friend in France.I want to raise awareness for these charities as I think that as people get older they should enjoy leisure activities that are relaxing, creative and allow them to learn new skills. In the future i would like to continue this work by hopefully organising events such as Paint-a-thons and gain the interest of art groups across the midlands in raising awareness.

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