Mara’s figurative work is both emotional and evocative of her subjects’ subtle beauty. Her focus is often to capture a moment of raw emotion that is a feeling she receives from whomever she is painting. The result may emerge as a painting filled with an energy of sensuality, an intimate moment alone, or a piercing glance at someone’s body and soul.
Her work has been praised for being radiant and she has a refreshingly feminine approach to portraying the complexity of women. As the majority of her work is the female figure, Mara brings her ability to see and the intuition of a woman as a way to convey her subtle yet powerful message in each piece.
Mara Light was born in Brooklyn, New York. Her artistic journey began early in life at home. “Creativity was always encouraged by my parents,” says the daughter of two artists. “I was often drawing and being creative in some form or another,” says Mara, “though I realized early it would take a great commitment and constant perseverance to achieve this path in life.” Still, her parents taught her about looking at things as an artist and encouraged her to develop her creativity.
As a teenager, she started to understand the extraordinary power art would have on her life. “Art was a way to escape into my own world, a place where beauty and deep emotions had a voice,” she recalls. She began classes at the Art Center College of Design that continued after high school with night classes. She went on to complete her BFA from the Art Center College of Design in California.
Rather than subscribe to a particular style, she is committed to evolving as a painter and applies her technique in the way that is best suited to each piece. This translates into not being rigid in her process but being disciplined in her studio. “I love to be in my studio painting” Mara confides. “I get a spark from working with my model and capturing the right image, but the real burning happens in the studio as I translate that original inspiration into the painting”.
In addition to the emotional character of her paintings, the use of light and color are essential elements in her work. The subject or figure in the foreground is mostly defined by painting the light and tones to define each shape. Color often forms the background through a variety of rich fabrics or flowing spaces. Through a layering process, she builds up the painted surface to emphasize the play between light and color, foreground and background, and shapes and forms.
Most days Mara can be found painting in her home studio in California. She is gaining wider national exposure through associations with prominent galleries in the United States and now with Galerie Blanche on Greene in Montreal.