Artist Rose Mahoney: capturing the essence of a scene

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 3, 2014

GATHERING BERRIES: Artist Rose Mahoney is known for her vibrant acrylic pieces that capture the essence of a moment. Jodi Marze | Picayune Item

GATHERING BERRIES: Artist Rose Mahoney is known for her vibrant acrylic pieces that capture the essence of a moment.
Jodi Marze | Picayune Item

Local artist Rose Mahoney grew up in the presence of famous artists who were friends with her father, an artist himself.

Mahoney, whose art is currently being displayed in a vacant store front located at 20 B West Canal, said she is enjoying the opportunity to show the eclecticism of her interpretations of life in such a public venue.

The window space allows the Greater Picayune Arts Council an opportunity to promote themselves and their artists, while at the same time allowing the builder’s owner, Garland Crosby, to give potential renters an idea of what their window displays could look like.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Mahoney’s work adds visual pops of color to the window front and commands attention as drivers pass by.

Fellow artist Sally Edwards describes Rose as a painter with an impressionist quality.

“She captures the essence of a scene in a colorful, vibrant way,” Edwards said.

She remembers a childhood filled with art.

“My dad worked at the San Antonio paper as a photographer to put himself through San Antonio Art Institute when I was a child,” Mahoney said.

She remembers visiting Warren Hunter’s studio and found it to be amazing.

“He was fascinating,” she said. “The one memory that has stuck in my mind is one where he had a 25 foot long piece of glass — I have no idea how high, but he was on a ladder — that he was reverse painting for a casino in Las Vegas. I was in awe of him and his talent.”

While Mahoney was surrounded by art in her youth, she approached it casually in the mid 80s. After laying it aside for 20 years, she took it seriously again in 2012.

She credits her ability to resume her working in painting to her children growing up, which gave her time to focus on her talents.

“I am primarily self taught, even though my father was formally educated,” she said. “When I first started to paint, I took one of my father’s paintings and taught myself by copying it. I took it over and showed him and asked him if he recognized it. He said yes, he remembered when he did it. Then, I told him that it was one I had copied. The paint was still wet.”

Her father was amazed and so the two spent much time afterwards painting together in his studio.

There were times when her father attempted to teach her his techniques, but realized that she had developed her own.

“One day, my father saw a piece that I worked on without him and instructed me to forget what he had tried to show me. Whatever I had going was working and I should not change,” she said.

Her father passed away in 2002. She said he would be amazed to see the progression of her work today.

“I am really sad that he is not here to see what I do,” she said.

Mahoney said life in general inspires her.

“I find I have a southwest influence on my art that comes through in my work,” she said. “My exposure to different cultures and areas throughout the years comes through. I love nature, the jazz culture. It is things that I see in day to day life that will catch my eye and take my breath away.”

These days, Mahoney continues her family tradition by teaching painting to the younger generations.

“I have a granddaughter and a great-grandson who is eight who both paint,” she said. “I’m really excited they are interested.”