About Mary Ellen

I have been on a voyage of self-discovery since arriving on the Hawaiian Islands and my art is one of the tangible results of this journey. There is no better place than Hawaii to be inspired to create art which lifts the spirit and transports the viewer into an oasis of beauty and harmony. Every way you turn, there is beauty – in the tranquil waters filled with vibrant sea life, the incredibly diverse and beautiful flora, the myriad of birds winging through crystal blue skies, and the incredible variety of landscapes. I firmly believe that anything I can imagine can be found on one of the islands and thus I can let my imagination soar – playing with shapes and colors and letting them be filled with the spirit of aloha that permeates all things here.
When asked why I paint mosaic designs, I often reply that after working 32 years for the federal government I find it hard to color outside the lines. Not true, but it is good for a smile. My formative years were spent in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and my memories always include the mosaic sidewalks that were replicated in a table which my parents had made and which graced our living room. Later, while living in Europe, I fell in love with ancient mosaics in Greece, Turkey and Italy – beautiful images which had stood the test of time. In 1998, I was fortunate to take a furniture painting course taught by a wonderful artist, Nancy Pascale, and she reintroduced me to the world of mosaics through paint. It was here that I began to make FUNctional ART to enJOY – revealing the beauty in castaway pieces. I also began seeking to achieve a realistic mosaic look and feel with paint and finishes. I knew I had succeeded when, sixteen years later, a professional tile worker looked at my art believing it to be mosaic tile. As with Thomas Edison, every failure moved me closer to a creative process which would achieve my vision. And, as with Edison, I continue to refine my successes.
I read an article where Julia, who was living with cancer, wrote “I think of the ridiculous statement, ‘You have your whole life ahead of you.’ This is never true. At any time, what you have is the rest of your life. Short or long, in shadow or light, you might as well live it as passionately as you can.” I’m taking her advice to heart. My mantra for my fifties will be “Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand — strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming WOO HOO – what a ride!” I hope you’ll join me in seeing the beauty that surrounds us and living whatever time we have to the fullest.

MaryEllenClagett105

 

FUNctional ART to enJOY.


Creating art which lifts the spirit and transports the viewer into an oasis of beauty and harmony.

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