Mandy Walker Rietman: Inside the Artist’s Studio

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Inside the Artist’s Studio

My Chemical Romance: Mandy Walker Rietman

Derrick White

“About seven years ago, I became interested in non-representational painting. I was drawn to the different styles and expressions non-objective art conveys and how that can vary depending on the person viewing the artwork. More than the art genre itself, I was drawn to the actual art painting techniques and the different mediums used to achieve an endless combination of results. If there was a new medium or technique out there, I took the time to study it and challenged myself to try it. I enjoy the natural shapes and images resulting from the mediums, and I enjoy learning the process it took to achieve the artwork itself,” says the local, self-taught artist, Mandy Rietman.

With her formal education in biology and chemistry, Mandy has always been interested in art and has taught herself techniques based on her interests at the time. She explains, “I enjoy arts and crafts, jewelry making, photography, photo tinting, and sewing pet wear. I had a business making dog raincoats when I lived in the Pacific Northwest.”

Although self-taught, Mandy still does her homework regarding different materials and techniques. She describes, “I have always been interested in art. I was hooked when I devoted more time to learning about art and art techniques. I could not learn enough. I am still learning every day through my own experience as well as learning from other artists. I believe it is so important to keep an open mind to new and different art techniques and styles. Each time I learn a new art process, I usually incorporate it into my next series of works. I take the time to learn what products can be combined and what products cannot. The actual process and patience of the artist are especially important when working with mixed media. An artist needs to respect the safety aspects of each medium, the use of gloves, goggles, and respirators. It is also important to respect the actual process of each medium’s use to achieve the desired result, drying times, effect of one medium on another, archival aspects, and care of the final artwork. It is for these specific reasons I usually have six to ten different works going on at one time. While one work is in the drying stage, I can work on another one ready for the next application of paint or resin. I have always viewed art, and the process of creating, as a positive aspect of my life. The more I learn about how to create works, the more positive and more confident I become. Times when I have not been able to achieve the result I was looking for are not viewed as wasted. They are opportunities where I have learned and conducted the experience of what that process taught me.”

Explaining her process, Mandy describes, “My goal is to make each work a picture within a picture. I enjoy seeing others view my art as they point out different images they see within the overall work. Viewers tend to see other images within the overall work each time they revisit a piece. This makes me happy and proud to see the creative thought process at work through viewing my art. I also make it a priority to create works that bring the outdoors inside. Therefore, I tend to use many color combinations simulating what you would see in nature.” Continuing, she explains, “I use all mixed media except for oil. My primary mediums are acrylic paint, gold, silver, and copper metallics, and epoxy resin. Since I began, I have used what I have learned about mediums to achieve the unique technique of creating multiple alternating layers of paint and resin. Most of my works have three or four alternate layers. This allows me to create a depth aspect to my final version of each work. It is also the main reason I always have six to ten works in progress at one time.”

When discussing sharing and selling her art with others, Rietman states, “Once I finally decided to take a chance of trying to sell my art, I quickly realized there are so many different types of art sales processes out there, as well as the different processes an artist can use to promote ones work. I learned I needed to educate myself on the art sales aspect while I was also learning how to create my art. I believe it is important to speak with local galleries and note gallery processes and requirements they use to sell art. This will prepare an artist for how they want to navigate their art journey. It will also aid them in considering how prolific they want to be as an artist. I have been extremely fortunate to work with Gold Leaf Art Gallery and Frame Shop in Tyler for the past year and a half. Working with Traci Brevard and her sister Debbie has been a positive experience for me. Collaborating with them also helped me discover my path towards working with a sales representative who now shows and sells my artwork throughout the United States.”

Mandy gets inspiration from some of her favorite artists including contemporary artist, Nancy Reyner, a gold leaf abstract painter from Santa Fe, New Mexico. An art history influence is Thomas Moran (an American painter of the Hudson River School whose work often featured the Rocky Mountains and Yellowstone National Park. She also is motivated by the photography of Ansel Adams (landscape photographer and environmentalist of the American West).

Mandy concludes, “The natural beauty of East Texas and all its seasons provides such an inspiration to create works of art. Tyler has so many artistic venues to join, show, and appreciate all the local art in the region. I urge everyone to get out and see all the wonderful world of art Tyler has to offer.”

Learn more about Mandy’s art on Instagram at @dimensionalartwork 

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