My name is Mary Christina Cisneros, I received a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree with an emphasis in painting from the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) in May of 2014. My family has lived in Austin, Texas for four generations and our Hispanic heritage is very important to us, especially during Tamale seasons. What I remember most about my childhood were the many car rides my family took to visit family living in Houston. To pass the time, I would stare out the car window, watching the fields and clouds pass by. These memories of the passing landscape are the roots to my work. During my stay as a artist in The Navasota Artist in Residence would be the ideal opportunity for me to return to those roots, where I could study in-depth the landscape without the car window.
My current work is formed from an abstract ideal of summer vacation, full of color and texture. Each piece is inspired from physical and mental snapshots of pool parties, road trips to the mountains, flat plains, and daydreams. During the residency, I plan on building a collection of photographs and plein air drawings of the rich surrounding landscapes, to bring back into the studio where I will further experiment with compositions and hue relationships in order to create something truly inspired and unique.
During the residency, I aim to create at least 10-12 new paintings. I am confident that I can complete 10 paintings in 6 months. I had previously set and achieved the same goal for the period of April 2015 to October 2015. The hardest part would be setting aside time early into the residency to make the panels. I already have all the tools to construct and assemble the panels. I just need a nice day and a place to set up shop. During my stay at the Horlock House I am interested in doing 5 on-site paintings. The weather in Texas is very temperamental, one minute it’s sunny and perfect then next, there is a hurricane. Painting from start to finish all on-site would be difficult. On rainy or extremely hot days I plan on using sketches and photograph as backup. Ideal locations that I will be looking for are Gulf sceneries, Grassy plains, and crop fields. All of which Navasota has an abundance of.
Since graduating from Kansas City Art Institute I have had the opportunity to surround myself with other creative souls. I’ve really enjoyed teaching a handful of beginner painting classes for adults. One of my favorite parts about teaching is sharing my love of mixing colors. Since I stay away from using black straight out of the tube in my own palate, I don’t use it when teaching. At first I can see the worry in the beginner painter’s eyes when they look at the pallet I place in front of them. Once I explain that mixing your own black can be so much richer than the industrial, they still look skeptical. It’s not until they start mirroring my movements when mixing that I start seeing their eyes light up. Mixing red, blue, and green together to get this rich dark hue that can be pushed in either direction to complement the already existing colors on the canvas.
I believe that my time here in Navasota would be beneficial to my development as a young artist. It would provide me with time to just paint and explore the surroundings Texas landscape and all the beauty that it has to offer. I truly am looking forward to the many opportunity to draw onsite in the crop fields that I loved staring at during car rides to Houston. I can now take all my tools out of my parents dusty garage and flex my wood carpenter muscles again. I can share my paint mixing techniques with a larger audience. Best of all, it would provide much need PR opportunities for me and my art work. Thank you, City of Navasota and The Arts Council of Brazos Valley for allowing me to join the line of artist to live in the Horlock House.