Tell us about your upcoming exhibition (if applicable)
I have just barely started making work for my first solo show here in Austin at Revelry in September! I am sooo excited about this body of work exploring a slightly different landscape than my last collection, of plants and our relationships with them. It is work that I have been thinking about for a Lon time and I feel like I’m finally ready to get it out and put it on the canvas. Of course I’m very excited about the show too!

What are you working on now?
I’m working on a collection of paintings exploring the imagery of plant collections and greenhouses. Making art isn’t always lollipops and fluffy clouds, sometimes there’s a wrestling that has to happen. Communicating what’s in my head, a thought or a concept into something visual on the canvas is hard work. There are so many ideas and in a way each one is a problem to be solved. Thinking, trying, thinking again. Once something clicks the work just starts coming out and I just have to keep up. The best word I can think of to describe this feeling when the work is out and on the canvas is freedom. I’ve been in the wresting phase with this series for a few months and the work is just beginning to come out. I can’t wait to share it with you!

What draws you to your medium?
I am in love with the sensory experience of painting with oils, buttery, smooth, and fluid. When dry, glowing and radiant. A truly magnificent medium. I work solvent free which actually turns oil painting into a very eco friendly way to paint.

How long have you been an artist and how has your practice changed over time?
I have been painting seriously for 15 years. 5 years ago, I became a mom. Motherhood is the best thing that happened to my creative practice. I think there was a mindset shift that happened. I went from having endless amounts of time available to me to suddenly, very limited time! I realized that if I wanted to keep making art I had to be really intentional and step up my discipline game. I also had more stress in my life due to caring for a tiny human 24hrs/day and felt a stronger need than ever to make art every day as a form of self care. 5 years later, I am still so obsessed with my (almost) daily painting practice. As an artist I am always evolving though progress can feel quite slow at times. Recently I have started using photo references much less, painting both from life, and then in the studio from memory. Following my intuition getting lost in the creative process and being open minded to wherever my creativity directs me.

In your opinion, what does the Austin arts community need as the city continues to grow?
What I hear from artists over and over again is their desire for creative community and thoughtful and informed feedback on their work. Making art is a very solitary practice and being able to talk to other artists and bounce ideas off of each other is so valuable. I think that there are a few opportunities for artists to come together but I hope to see more support for comradarie and community over competition.

Molly Mansfield is an artist living in Taylor, Texas with her husband and two boys. She paints oil landscapes, botanicals, and botanical landscapes inspired by memories from child hood and adventures with her family.

Keep up with Molly’s work:
Instagram: @mollymansfieldartist