[Art] teaches me to be like a child again, to explore, focus and wonder. I like that my art says it all, that I do not need to explain.

Mary Flock-Lempa's inspiration for her art comes from an intense and passionate love for pure color and line work. She creates patterns inspired from natural textures and colors to express the feel of her subjects, whether from life or her own mind-scape.

Although Mary has a long history as a commissioned illustrator and artist she still considers herself as always learning and exploring visual arts. She tries to approach each artwork with the vision of a child through discovery and delight.

Let's meet Mary Lempa...

1. What does a typical day in your life look like?
I get up at 5:30 to relax, see the sunrise and enjoy my coffee before I go to work. Monday through Friday I work at a local high school. By walking or biking to work, swimming at school or running errands on foot, I get my exercise. In the afternoon I will often spend way too much time on culinary pursuits and trolling on the web. On the weekends I focus mostly on current art commissions.

2. What does your studio look like?
I have no dedicated studio. I work in the corner of our dining room, sometimes sharing the table with whomever is eating there. I’m used to packing up and stowing “the studio” should guests arrive.

3. Tell us one unique thing about you/your art.
I am as unique as anyone else. My art is simply a curiosity and expression of the things I find interesting, my passion for nature’s beauty and humor in the world. In my creations I enjoy bringing experiences both common to profound to light. Through merging observation with imagination I strive to express the energy I see in matter. I utilize dynamically unusual lines, patterns, and textures until the two dimensional surface is buzzing with life.

From top, clockwise: ChiChi, Shamrock, and Leilu, by Mary Flock-Lempa

4. What do you love most about being an artist?
It teaches me to be like a child again, to explore, focus and wonder. I like that my art says it all, that I do not need to explain.

5. Which is your favorite art piece so far and what is the story behind it?
My painting “Phoenix” is a combination of India ink, acrylic and oil on Clayboard which allowed me to scratch into the surface and create lines. It depicts a woman whose feet are grounded in the earth, desolation all around her. She immerges from this ashen environment like a flower, naked, arms stretching upward within the head of a sentinel bird. Her wings burst into powerful flames. The painting symbolizes the shedding of the old and a renewal of spirit, something that always resonates with me.

Phoenix by Mary Flock-Lempa, oil on wood

6. What are three things you can’t live without in a day?
Healthy air I can breathe. Freedom from intense pain. Acceptance. Everything else I think I could stand for 24 hours.

7. Where do you get inspiration when you need it most?
Sunlight in all of its phases particularly when it turns buildings and trees into GOLD! The absolutely maddening impossibility of natures, patterns and colors inspires me greatly.

8. Lastly, what does success look like to you?
When I feel like... AHAA!!! When others say, “Thank you, that really speaks to me” And less importantly, when I can support myself in this world with just enough so I don’t have to think about it.

To chat with Mary Flock-Lempa, or to commission her for your next art piece, visit her artist page.