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Art & Life with Maria Aranes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Aranes.

Maria, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was always creative and artistic as long as I could remember. Growing up, people always told me how I was naturally talented as an artist but I didn’t really think anything of it until I entered a state-wide art competition in high school and won. I never had any formal art training to develop my techniques, I just kept drawing. I remember one summer growing up, I spent every day drawing a new picture from start to finish. However, I stopped drawing after high school. I’m not really sure why I stopped, but I know life took me in a different direction and my focus was elsewhere like going to college to get my Bachelor’s degree in Biology.

During that time, I still liked making things, like decorative wooden boxes, but it wasn’t until 2016 when I decided to start my own business, Remnants of Nature, where I truly tapped into that creative energy again. When I started Remnants of Nature I initially focused on selling my handmade decorative wooden boxes. Shortly after that, I saw how other artists used pyrography techniques in their work and was drawn to it. I taught myself how to wood burn and really liked using that technique as an artistic platform but wanted to separate myself from everyone else so I tried incorporating moss into my first art piece and immediately fell in love with it. Since then I’ve been known for my moss art.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I would describe my art as ‘Creative collaborations with Mother Nature- bringing art to life using nature.’ It’s the main reason why I call my company, Remnants of Nature. I use pyrography techniques to create the images on a wooden canvas and then add moss to the piece to give it more life and dimension. I want to show people how nature can be beautifully transformed into ways they would not have imagined, such as using moss in art.

Having grown up on the east coast, I was able to experience the seasons change and how nature would transform during throughout the year. However, living in San Diego give me the luxury of being outside practically all year long, so I’m constantly inspired with new ideas. Since I have a background in science, I like to analyze things, so when I’m outside looking at nature, sometimes I think about how I can transform it into art in new and innovative ways. Also, I love being outdoors, whether I’m running or hiking with my dog, so I can’t help find inspiration everywhere I look.

Every piece I make is individually made and not mass produced. A percentage of my profits goes to a different non-profit organization every month. Since I started Remnants of Nature, my favorite part has been being approached for commissions because they’re so unique and personal, which it what I want my art to be. Also, I’ve really enjoyed all the people I’ve met through social media and have received so may commissions from that platform as well. Of course, I can’t leave out my least favorite part as well, cleaning up the mess, which is mostly moss, when I’m working on a new piece because it gets everywhere. Hahaha.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
I wouldn’t necessarily say to the role of artists has changed. I think artists have always been around but with social media their work has become more accessible and appreciated by more people throughout the world, not just at a local level. Current events do affect my art because they inspire me to think about new pieces on topics I may want to address.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
People can see my work this summer at the Del Mar Fair. It’s part of the fine art exhibition that will be on display from June 1-July 4. To stay up to date on my current projects it’s best to follow me on Instagram @remnantsofnature or my website at remnantsofnature.com
 

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Image Credit:
Maria Aranes

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