Murals and Paintings

An Interview with Artist Fany Mares

By Mike Weber Goodenow

Author, Visionary Behavior:   Creative Intelligence in Action

Fany, At what age did it first ocurr to you that you were an artist?

I started to draw and paint when I was about 7 years old.

Who encouraged you the most in your art when you were a child and a youth? 

My father liked to paint.  Unfortunately, he passed away when I was 5 years old.  His brother, my Uncle Alberto, also likes to paint, and he (as well as other members of my family) encouraged me the most to follow the art path.

Where did you get most of your training as an artist?

I took art classes in junior high and high school.  I majored in graphic design in college.  I read many books on art history and techniques.  And I've taken workshops in art, sculpture, and stained glass.

Which famous painters have influenced and inspired you the most?

I admire Michelangelo Buonarroti - especially for his devotion to art, his determination, and his ability to give his work "life essence".

I'm very fond of the work of David Alfaro Siqueiros of Mexico.  His work shows intensity, passion, and movement.  He's also one of the few artists who's gone beyond the common materials and worked with a lot of texture in his paintings.

And I love the work of Vincent Van Gogh.  It reflects his passion.  I like the intense colors of his palette and the movement he gives to every element in the painting.  Most of all I like the importance he gives to empty space, making everything flow and come together as a whole.

Which of your paintings has generated the most interest from people?

I'd have to say Horse Under the Sun.  Also, Beyond.  And people seem to like the Contemplation trees as well.

Which of your paintings do you like the best?

I'd have to say Horse Under the Sun.  It's more spontaneous, and I like the way the horse flows with the space.

How would you sum up the style, themes, and essence of your art?

I like to paint landscapes, human figures, horses, and trees.  I like to think my style has movement, flow, and intensity of colors and texture.  I want my art to show the relationship between the subject and the space that surrounds the subject - the connection between matter and essence.

Why have you been using the golden spiral as an aesthetic guide and an underlying structure in your paintings?

The golden spiral gives direction to the elements.  Some lines align with the golden spiral, creating a sense of harmony and motion.  The golden spiral is said to be infinite - no beginning, no end - and I feel it also gives depth to the painting.

In your paintings of women,  what is the underlying message to women?

The message would be that women should feel good and proud of themselves for their accomplishments.

Why horses?

To me, horses signify strength and freedom.  I like them because they look strong, graceful, and independent.

Some would say your paintings convey inner peace and inner light...can you share your spiritual views with us?

When I'm creating a painting, I wish for it to have a deeper meaning - to go beyond what's tangible into a more profound state,   Including a state where inner peace can be found.  Inner peace is always a quest.  Sometimes you get all tangled up in life's events that it's hard to reach that state.  Maybe that's why I try to have that state present in my paintings.

The source of light in my paintings comes from the golden spiral, which is said to be infinite.  So, to me, that light is the source from which everything comes and goes - an origin and a destination.  I believe in a higher power, and I think the essence of this higher power is present in the space that surrounds us...and I try to make it visible in my art.

Reflecting on the best creative state that you get into while painting, how would you describe what that peak state is like?

There's a sense of fulfillment.  It's a natural high.  And I'm really feeling the essence of the elements, their aliveness...this is when I feel I've accomplished something in my work.

What do you still aspire to do in the future as an artist?

I intend to keep painting - searching for that perfect state where the essence of the subject comes together with the essence of space.  To show my work in as many places as possible.  And to enjoy the journey.