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Rising Stars: Meet Mary Veiga

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mary Veiga.

Hi Mary, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
Hello, thank you for featuring me and my artwork. So, my story begins here in Baltimore on a beautiful farm surrounded by cornfields, and horse farms. I spent much of my childhood riding my horse through this striking abundant landscape and drew much inspiration from my surroundings.

I began drawing and painting at a very young age and my favorite subject was my horse. These early drawings received much recognition and awards in elementary school and brought me much joy as well. My dream of becoming an artist began here. I continued on studying art throughout high school and college and after college, I went to the Maryland Institute and College of Art for my Fine Art Certificate and worked as a freelance artist and teacher for several years.

I then began my business Mary Murals in the late 1990s and painted murals all over Maryland and DC. including museums, restaurants, schools, and private residences. Many of which were featured in Good House Keeping Magazine, HGTV, Chesapeake Home and Living, the Tidewater Times, The Baltimore Sun, WJZ Channel 13 news, and many more. My favorite subjects to paint were and still are beautiful landscapes and horses too.

In more recent years, I’ve gone back to studying fine art and painting in oils again. My goal and mantra have been to never stop growing as an artist. There’s always so much more to learn.

Soon after, I discovered Plein Air. Painting and was in love! Plein air painting for those that haven’t heard of it is a French term for painting in the open air or painting outdoors from life. I found it fascinating and quite inspiring being in the element and atmosphere of what you’re painting, and yes it’s also quite challenging at times to be given the elements, etc. The weather, the bugs, the equipment, the wildlife, and various obstacles all make for an interesting adventure, however, and some funny stories too.

In 2015, we bought a weekend home on Tilghman Island. This had been my dream for quite some time as I loved painting en Plein air on our beautiful Eastern Shore of Maryland. I always admired the professional Plein air artists and their amazing work and enjoyed watching the local competitions for Plein air. I was feeling too intimidated to enter my work in the earlier years, but at the insistence of my husband in 2019 I applied… And I actually got into my first juried Plein air competition at Plein Air Easton. For those of you who haven’t heard about Plein Air Easton, it is the most prestigious Plein air event in the nation and has also been described as the Wimbledon of Plein Air competitions. So needless to say, I was delighted to be juried in.

I continued on from there participating in 2020 as well as 2021. This year, I won second place in the overall competition from this year’s judge, the President, and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum of Art Daniel Weiss, who is also a notable scholar and art historian. This was quite an award to win and truly an honor. This award also includes an invitation to Plein Air Easton 2022! It really is such a great event put on by the Avalon Foundation and worth seeing in mid-July. If you can make it I highly recommend it. I’m so excited to be a part of it again this year.

Since 2019, I’ve been participating in several other Plein Air competitions and received awards and recognition. My work is represented in Trippe Gallery in Easton, Bozzuto, and Greene Art. Baltimore, Brice Interiors in Annapolis, and Capital Artist Collective in Washington DC. I’ve been featured recently in Maryland Harvest and Farm episode 905 on MPT as well as a podcast with the Avalon Foundation and Interview on their Cocktails and Conversation. My work has also been featured in Western Art Collector Magazine, Attraction Magazine, The Dorchester Banner, the front page of The Talbot Times newspaper, and nowhere at Voyage Baltimore Magazine!

I’m honored and grateful to receive all of this recognition, and to all of my collectors and viewers for their support. It is my greatest joy and gift to share the beauty, inspiration, and sense of connection with nature and all that it offers us with each of you.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It hasn’t always been a smooth road. As many of us have experienced loss and tragedy throughout life mine began when I was nine years old and lost my beloved father. These losses change us and shape us in various ways. Art was and continues to be therapeutic for me in so many ways.

Not only the physical act of painting but through connecting with nature and being reminded of the continuous spiritual presence of lost loved ones. My artwork is shaped around feelings of resilience, peace, hope, comfort, and beauty. These are themes I like to surround myself with and my hope is to share this expression with my viewers.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a fine artist specializing in oil landscape paintings and painting en Plein air. My work begins by tapping into all of the senses further deepening with spirituality and its’ ever presence in our existence. Transferring this through atmosphere, light, and a strong sense of space I aim to connect with my viewers to share this beauty in artistic expression.

What sort of changes are you expecting over the next 5-10 years?
I m excited to say I think the Plein Air movement is growing exponentially. Collectors are drawn to the raw authenticity of painting in the moment Artists by nature are drawn to all of the senses and experiences that Plein air painting brings. The pandemic was actually an opportunity for many artists to practice and develop their craft

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