is all inspiring,” according to artist Mara Lehmann. “To be in the country, among the
mountains, trees, and blue sky is magnificent. It’s the beauty before me that I
try to capture. Nature is my source of inspiration.” She refers to the
Catskills as “a kind of holy ground for artists,” and reveals that what
inspires her most is the ability to stand on the same ground that the great
Hudson River School painters once stood, and to interpret the same scenes that
they painted in her own unique way.
From an early age, Mara was attracted to painting in oils, which she has been doing since the age of ten. Family travels and escapes to the country proved to be fertile subject matter for her work. Even as a young child, she realized that nature was her canvas. Be it a farm in winter, bales of hay in the fall, autumn leaves, South Lake in spring, or Olana. In her paintings, Mara strives to capture the light that illuminates the entire scene.
Mara captures the beauty and serenity of the countryside, using subdued colors, forceful tones and shifting lights and shadows. Mara often paints en plein air in order to capture a particular scene. When a painting cannot be finished in one session, she either returns to the same spot or finishes the painting in her studio, relying on memory or photographs of the site. She almost never paints a scene exactly as it appears before her. “You’ve got to have your own artistic interpretation,” she said, “and add your own touches.” Ultimately, Mara wants people who look at her paintings to see how awe-inspiring and breathtaking the world is.
Before moving to the Catskills some 30 years ago, Mara worked in the New York metropolitan area as a textile designer and graphic design artist. With a Master’s degree in Education from Columbia University, she enjoys teaching and inspiring other artists. Lehmann has shown extensively in the metropolitan area and has been the recipient of numerous awards from Cork Gallery, the Avery Fisher Hall, Salmagundi Club and the Manhattan Art Club.
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