The Fayetteville “Meet the Artist” is a new series celebrating our flourishing art scene by highlighting local artists and the diversity of art you can find in Fayetteville! We planned this month’s Meet the Artist in accordance with the Fayetteville Visitor Center’s featured summer artist display, by featuring artwork by Connie Mae. Mae uses light and shadows to create breathtaking nature paintings that truly encompass the magic of the New River Gorge.
Mae grew up surrounded by nature, hiking in the Michigan woods. She said it was difficult to pinpoint a specific time of when she got started creating art because she can’t remember a time when she wasn’t creating art. Mae’s mother recognized her love for art and kept her supplied with materials at a young age and signed her up for every art class available. She majored in fine art at Spring Arbor University and received additional education at the Kalamazoo Institute of Art. Mae began sharing her love of art by teaching art classes. She never ceased to create art even in the busyness of raising a family. “I began focusing on my art full time six years ago, which had always been my dream. I had just moved to West Virginia and was absolutely captivated by the beauty, so the timing was pretty good for painting landscapes,” Mae said.
Mae also said she has loved coming to Fayetteville for its beautiful hiking and delicious restaurants. One of her favorite spots is the Wolf Creek footbridge off of Fayette Station Road. “It is so peaceful and almost feels magical there. I’ve done a few paintings of that area,” said Mae.“When I’m in nature it balances my being and I feel inspired and closer to God. I think that experiencing something beautiful brings a sense of hope to people and it is more meaningful to share that with others. I guess that ultimately, I’m compelled to paint in an effort to share beauty and hope with others. I am intrigued by sunlight and shadow and how they change a whole scene. I find myself studying the effects of light and shadow on everything I see when I’m out on a hike or even when I’m driving down the road. I take it in visually and try to figure out how to translate it to my canvas. It excites me to discover the subtleties that are often overlooked and include them in my work.”
Mae has worked with a variety of mediums but prefers oil and enjoys incorporating other painting mediums with it to create different effects. When she’s not creating beautiful landscape paintings you can find her hiking, camping, kayaking, bike riding, sunset watching, enjoying a good book or challenging herself to a jigsaw puzzle.
You can view Connie Mae’s Art at The Fayetteville Visitor Center as our featured summer artist. Her work can also be found at conniemae-art.com.