Member Interview: Mary Ann Carter

Mary Ann Carter with a violin created for the the Fox Valley Symphony
NE member Mary Ann Carter answers a few questions about her work as an artist.

What is the first encounter with art you can remember? 

Before I could speak, before I knew what the wonder of this magic box called
a camera was, I would play with form, pattern, and color in my mind.

When was the defining moment you knew you wanted to be an artist?

I was always interested in photography but I kept procrastinating.  My
defining moment that I knew I wanted to be an aritst was in 1999 when I purchased
my first camera.  My five children were all raised and grown.  It
was now or never.  I started exhibiting in art shows in 2001.

What’s the one item in your studio you can’t live without?

My camera of choice is a Nikon F100 35mm.  It is the one item in my studio
that I cannot live without.

What’s the most useless item in your studio?

My son’s cat.  Kitty wants constant attention and will do anything
to get it which, is challenging when creating.

How do you get over artists’ block?

If I get stuck I just keep playing with ideas in my head.  I have learned
to trust my instincts, giving myself the freedom to discover a fresh perspective.

What do you listen to while you create and why?

I listen to voices from the past.  As a child I would spend endless hours
listening to stories that my family and relatives told.  I would delight
in their wonder.  I now see them in my images.  I tell their story. 
I tell my story to pass down to my children and grandchildren.

What’s the worst that has happened to you as an artist?

I set my tent up the night before an art show by Lake Michigan.  I arrived
early the next morning to discover my tent twisted, torn, and tossed up in a
tree.  I did not even have my camera to capture the moment. 

Where’s your favorite Inspiration Point?

I love to work with old family images.  It has been said about myself,
“Just who is that woman in waders?  Is she up a tree with her camera
again?  And, can you take a picture from the back of a mule?” 
If you’re Mary Ann Carter, you can.  She claims the world as her
studio and weaves family stories-the human story into her work.

More about Mary Ann Carter