Monita Mahoney will demonstrate the technique of marbling at the next meeting of the Anderson Artists Guild at 6:30 p.m. Monday, March 12, at the Anderson Arts Center.
Marbling is done by making a bath of colors and creating a design on the colored water with a
stylus or other object. Paper or fabric is laid on top of the water, and the design is transferred from the water to the paper or fabric. “Everything you do in marbling is original,” said Mahoney. “You can use the same colors in the same pattern in the same order, and it will never be the same. That’s one of the things I really like.”
Mahoney uses the marbled paper as a stand-alone piece of art or as part of a larger piece or in a collage. “The marbled paper can be finished artwork, but most often I use portions of it,” she said.
Another one of Mahoney’s passions is miniatures, which are paintings that measure no larger than 25 square inches. “It’s a very specific type of art,” she said. “What you paint has to be no bigger than one-sixth the size of the original object.” A head, for instance, would measure about one and half inches or less.
The details, though, remain the same: “You’re supposed to be able to look at a photo of miniature art and not be able to tell if it’s two or three inches or two or three feet.” Still, she said, “I don’t use a magnifying glass except to sign them.” One of her miniatures—measuring two inches by two and half inches—recently won first place in mixed media and collage in a show of the Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society of Washington, D.C.
Mahoney worked in business for many years and didn’t take up painting until her mid-thirties. “I had never even used a brush before,” she said. “Art was just purely a gift from God that came at a time in my life when I needed it. It’s been a wonderful blessing all these years. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
She initially resisted, though. When she was living in Dallas, some friends from church started an oil painting class and kept asking her to join in. She declined—several times—and finally told them she’d take the class if they’d let her drop out once it got going. But in fact she liked it so much that she continued to take classes, eventually switching to watercolor and then acrylics and now mixed media. She has studied with noted artists such as Edgar Whitney and Ed Betts. She even opened a gallery and frame shop with her husband after they moved to the Ozarks following his heart attack.
In 1990, they relocated to Greer to be near their children. Her husband taught music while she teaches art at the Greenville Center for the Creative Arts. She has also conducted workshops across the U.S.
For more information about Monita Mahoney, visit https://www.monitamahoney.com/.