HI!.......I'm Mary Anne Fontana
I am a self-taught artist.
While I come from an artistic family on my mother’s side: quilters, painters, carvers, and Ukrainian Egg decorator’s, I did not learn any of my skills from them.
As a child, I remember being surrounded by my family’s artistic expression but never really participating. It was just always there, part of life. I guess the arts are in my DNA because as I grew older I became more and more drawn into expressing those latent talents that so consumed my predecessors.
I did not go to a special school or receive any special instructions by those in the know. I have no degree in the arts and was never mentored buy anyone. The love of creative expression in all its forms is in my mind, body, heart and soul. It cannot be ignored, so I express myself as I am compelled to do.
I started sewing when I was 8 years old. For the Holidays, my Aunt Anna would send me beautiful homemade clothes, it was wonderful! When she got sick I started sewing my own so I could continue to have unique clothes, eventually becoming good enough to make my own business attire.
The love of decorating Ukrainian Eggs emerged after those who could teach me passed on. I have a small collection of my grandmothers hand decorated eggs (they must be at least 70 years old). I was determined to carry on this tradition so I taught myself the art and occasionally teach classes.
Inheriting several quilts from my grandmother and aunts gave me the inspiration and desire to learn to quilt and carry on the tradition. My family made primarily bed quilts, which I also make but also have expanded into designing, creating and producing my own art quilts.
Photography is a pastime I have used to capture the beautiful flowers in my garden, the places I visit and everyday life around me. This medium serves as an inspiration for my many of my more recent art quilts which I am now printing on whole-cloth then enhancing with threads.
All art holds my interest. Whether looking at a famous painting, sculpture or live theater I am always trying to absorb what the artist is sharing and find my relationship to it. I find inspiration everywhere and try to use all my senses to capture that expression in fabric: art quilts, mixed media, textile portraits, quilted bags, photography on whole cloth then embellished with thread, painting on fabric, etc.
I will never limit myself to just one medium or form of expression. The beauty of our world begs us to absorb every last drop in any way we can. Come let us create a more beautiful world together through our art!