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About Me


Mary Montague Sikes

Art has filled my life forever. As a two-year-old, I made pencil drawings that my mother saved in the scrapbook she created for me. When I was five, I told family members that I was Mary Cassatt in another lifetime, and, indeed, some of my earliest paintings were Cassatt-style portraits.

My father never approved of an art career for me, so I got a degree in psychology and elementary education instead. However, I was determined and earned a professional license, teaching art at all grade levels. I loved working in art, kept taking college classes in everything from studio sculpture, to printmaking, to studio acrylic painting. Eventually, I earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from Virginia Commonwealth University, one of the country's top art schools.

Over the years, I have worked in a variety of mediums, including pastels, sculpture, painting, printmaking, ceramics, and more. I love texture and experimenting. Photographs from our many travels in the United States and abroad serve as working drawings for much of my work. Many of those paintings have won awards in juried art shows. Some of them were part of a sizeable purchase of large paintings for a prestigious hotel when it first opened in downtown Richmond, Virginia.

A few years ago, I discovered a wonderful new method of creating art, using intense Robert Doak watercolors on Yupo. I have experimented with those materials ever since. More recently, I discovered the amazing texture possible when working with oil and cold wax on cradled wood. From large acrylic canvasses to big sheets of Yupo to textured surfaces, I enjoy exploring new and unique ways to create art. I hope to never stop learning.

My art business has been designated as a "Trusted Art Seller" with The Art Storefronts Organization, which means you can shop with confidence, and know that I stand behind the quality and value of my products.



Inspiration

Nature and the beauty of our universe are my inspirations. In my native Virginia, I  watch the colors change in my woods, on the creek, and in the marsh beyond. The bright reds, yellows, and oranges set fire to my imagination. Wild animals appear among the trees, and I photograph or paint them.

Techniques

Thick juicy paint fills my brush and palette knives. I embrace the textures formed with crumpled papers, bottle caps and other found objects. Mark-making adds more depth to my gallery-wrapped canvasses. Sometimes I spray intense Robert Doak watercolors on the slick surface of heavyweight Yupo. I revel in those formations that lead me to meditate and write intuitive poetry about my work.

career highlights

The tall, sturdy easel that greets my entry into Forever Magic Studio reminds me of Thomas Thorne, the artist/teacher who introduced me to the acrylic paints I love. He built that easel to hold his oversized canvasses when he painted at the College of William and Mary. Carl Roseburg, the professor who filled my life with sculpture, delivered that easel to my studio one bright summer day. Those college years were special times in the beginning of my art career.

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Trusted Art Seller

The presence of this badge signifies that this business has officially registered with the Art Storefronts Organization and has an established track record of selling art.

It also means that buyers can trust that they are buying from a legitimate business. Art sellers that conduct fraudulent activity or that receive numerous complaints from buyers will have this badge revoked. If you would like to file a complaint about this seller, please do so here.

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Verified Returns & Exchanges

The Art Storefronts Organization has verified that this business has provided a returns & exchanges policy for all art purchases.

Description of Policy from Merchant:

If you don't love your art, contact us within 7 days. If we can't make you happy, we'll refund your purchase price.

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Verified Secure Website with Safe Checkout

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Verified Archival Materials Used

The Art Storefronts Organization has verified that this Art Seller has published information about the archival materials used to create their products in an effort to provide transparency to buyers.

Description from Merchant:

We have partnered with Graphik Dimensions for our printing and framing services. Graphik Dimensions has a long history of providing innovative photographic printing and photo finishing services to professional photographers for nearly 40 years.

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