Mary Margaret Monsees | Savannah-Based Acrylic Painter + Resin Artist
There’s just something about flowers. Perfect, effortless beauty. They offer rest for our eyes, hope to our spirits, and infuse our memories with color.
Some of the sweetest moments of my life have been centered around flowers - from morning nature walks with my grandmother, when as a little girl she taught me about Morning Glories and Queen Anne’s Lace. To planting Sweet William with my dad in his garden. To watching my own sweet Rhett Jagger nestle bright yellow Petunias into a row with his chubby little toddler fingers.
Flowers have my heart. And so the first time I caught sight of Mary Margaret Monsees’ floral work, I was enamored. Her art emotes the vintage floral vibe that is so in fashion at the moment - but don’t mistake - her art is timeless.
I had the honor of getting the inside scoop from Mary - all about how she got he start, her motivations, and who and what drives her work.
Brenna: Tell us about yourself- How did you get your start? And what are you excited about at the moment?
Mary: Born and bred in southern Georgia, I cannot remember a time when art was not a part of my life. My family highly values creativity, and I spent my childhood and early adult life immersed in the world of art. I studied art history at the University of Georgia, working in galleries throughout my time in Athens and spending a summer taking studio art classes abroad in Florence, Italy. After college I went on to study a different art form: architecture. I earned my master’s in historic preservation in Charleston, South Carolina, because I wanted to understand the tangible art form that people interact with on a daily basis. The degree intersected my love of history and art perfectly, and it greatly impacted my vision as an artist.
After graduate school I watched from my 9-5 desk job as the once exclusive art industry shifted seemingly overnight with the influence of social media and its ability to create and sustain independent artists. With the encouragement of friends and family, I picked my brushes back up and reunited with my identity as an artist. My business is in its infancy, and the transition has not been without its share of growing pains, but at the end of each day, I can say I have spent my time painting, and that fills my soul.
I currently have three series in the works: Resin Flower Studies, Flowering Trees, and Bridal Bouquets. All three series intentionally share a theme of flowers. I believe that everything I need to study and improve upon as an artist can be found in one, single blossom: composition, line, color, shadow, and depth. More importantly, perhaps, it is hard not to smile when you look at a flower.
More from Mary on her Resin Flower Studies …
“Inspired by the historical charm and simplicity of botanical prints, I seek to present the study of a single flower in a fresh, modern way. The process I follow is meticulous and specific, much like nature itself. First I spend time developing and considering the background colors, which I custom mix and apply to smooth, wood panels. Then I use bright, acrylic paint to depict the subject. Once it has dried, I pour a top coat of resin that dries over a 24-hour period. The result is a high-gloss finish, reminiscent of glass, which also serves the very practical purpose of protecting the painting and eliminating the need for framing. This series embodies me as an artist, as well as an individual. Each piece represents deep respect for tradition and the past, while also remaining firmly rooted and alive in the present.”
Brenna: How has Savannah helped to bring your work to life? If you were to leave here, how would that change the narrative around what you do?
Mary: “I lived in Charleston for six years before moving to Savannah just over one year ago. My husband is from here and we made the move down the coast for his career and to be closer to family. It wasn’t until I was in Savannah that I felt ready to take the leap and make art my full-time gig. This city is so beautiful and has such a creative energy - it’s easy to feel inspired. Life moves at a much slower pace in Savannah. They city has forced me to slow down and really notice the beauty in my surroundings. That increased level of awareness led me to my first painting series - Resin Flower Studies.”
We couldn’t agree more. Savannah is such a special place for creative souls. Mary’s art is so gorgeous, and I’m genuinely excited for her Resin Flower series. I already have plans for some commissioned pieces once our historic home renovations are complete!
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We’re T.C. & Brenna Michaels
This world is full of beauty. Why not choose a beautiful life?