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Arts in Milwaukee

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  • “Where the Light Gets In”Where the Light Gets In

    Oil & Cold Wax, 24x48"

Mary Mendla

  • Art
  • Design
I am an Art Professional I am a Design Professional

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artist bio

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1992, graduated with honors
Specialization in Painting and Drawing
Secondary specialization – Fiber Arts
Bachelor of Honors Degree - Liberal Arts Studies, 1992

Mary Mendla Fine Art and Apparel, LLC, 2012

Mary Mendla Fine Art
1996 to present
Abstracted landscape and minimalist paintings in Oil and Cold
Wax, Soft Pastel, Mixed Media and Fiber Art

Facets Fashions,
2003 to present
President and Founder, Lead Designer
A complete line of women’s fashions with an emphasis on
creative style and impeccable fit for all body types.

Affluere Yoga Wear,
2012 to present
President and Founder, Lead Designer

Fitness apparel for Nia, Yoga, Tai Chi, and Dance, as well as
every day activities. Garments are made of Organic
Bamboo/Cotton Jersey and Eco Friendly ChitoSante’ treated
active wear fabrics.

Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design
1992 - 2005
Adjunct Faculty member

Instructor of fine arts curriculum including Oil Painting, Pastel/Mixed Media
Painting, and Textile Surface Design

Cardinal Stritch University
1996 – 2004
Instructor – School of Continuing Education

Instructor of fine art techniques in Oil Painting, Pastel/Mixed Media, Textile
Surface Design and Contemporary Art History.

Artist in Residence, Grafton Arts Mill, 2014
Artist in Residence, Cedarburg Cultural Center, 2011 and 2012
Cedarburg Artists Guild, Membership Chairperson, 2011 – 2014
Grafton Public Arts Board, Board Member, 2012 – present

artist statement

I am an artist working in several media; oil and acrylic mixed media painting, soft pastel, fiber, fabric surface design and apparel design.

The natural world provides a continual source of inspiration to me. It feeds my soul and speaks through me in the various media in which I work. The delicate dance of trees swaying in synchronous movement, ripples of reflected sunlight moving across the surface of a lake, the ever changing expressive light of the sky resonate deep within my being, providing insight into the flow of life and the interconnectedness of all that is – the dance of universal energy mirrored in form.

In my art I become a mediator between what I take in from nature and what I create in the physical world. I sense deep metaphysical truths in the subtle relationships between the patterns, textures, color, and forms that I am immersed in throughout my days. Intuition, rather than conscious control, is my guide as I facilitate the communication of these insights onto two dimensional surfaces; canvas, board, textile. I work in partnership with my materials allowing possibilities to evolve that are inherent in them and in me. In this way the truths I perceive from nature continue to unfold into human consciousness.

My paintings are created through varied processes involving oil paint, cold wax medium, and a variety of other mixed media materials. Layer upon layer of paint, pigment, even sand and dirt, are applied to the surface with added texture created by items found in nature; grasses, sticks, bark, leaves. As the meaning and composition begin to form in a painting, these layers are excavated through scraping and dissolving paint layers with solvents to reveal the buried history of the painted surface. This reveals the archaeology of the painting, revealing its history through abstraction.

My paintings have often been referred to as atmospheres; surfaces to enter into rather than simply to view two dimensionally. My intent is to communicate my deepest emotions and spiritual experiences of the natural world and to represent these metaphorically through color, texture, and composition.

My apparel design is represented through my two apparel lines, Facets Fashions and Affluere Yoga Wear. I allow my deep resonance with nature to guide me as I work with color and texture on fabric. This beauty on fabric is then brought to life on the human form through its transformation into a garment.

I work primarily with the techniques of shibori, a bound resist dye process, and hand painting of dyes to create my one of a kind fabrics. I often combine these techniques with methods of texturing such as devore’ (burn-out) and heat treatments to create permanent 3 dimensional form to enhance the visual beauty of the color washes and patterns.

My garments are designed to enhance the beauty of the feminine body in all its forms. I believe all bodies are perfect bodies; the right fit and style is all that is needed to allow a woman’s inner beauty to shine forth. Facets Fashions and Affluere Apparel garments are created in sizes from Misses Extra-Small to Women’s 3X. Custom designs are a source of joy and inspiration to me and I welcome the creative challenge of meeting each person’s unique needs.