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Rising Stars: Meet Mariana Peirano

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mariana Peirano.

Hi Mariana, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I was born and raised in the coastal city of Mar del Plata, Argentina. My mother tells me that even at two years old, I was drawing and in grade school, I became the class artist. My family moved to the US in time for me to start middle school. Having suffered through the immigrant experience, I dedicated the earlier part of my life to education, in particular English Learners. Back then, my art was relegated to elaborate bulletin boards for my classroom and superhero drawings for my sons.

I decided to start painting again as a form of release and self-reflection in 2013. I chose portraits, women portraits, to reflect my own feelings and emotions. I used pastels and acrylics for a while but once I started using oils, I didn’t stop. I wrote poems to go along with my paintings to help me express that which I couldn’t.

For a few years, I had a studio at the H Gallery in midtown Ventura. There I shared studios with 11 other artists. It was a new exciting, experience for me and I finally felt like a real artist. While I was there, I showed around southern California and even Canada. I also joined the international women artist group, Rootless, and through that group, we showed in Germany.

In 2017 I moved to Ojai and fell in love with nature. The trees inspired me and motivated me. When the Thomas fires came through our area, I felt a deep sadness and guilt for not having done more in the past to protect them, protect mother nature. I joined the Ojai Studio Artists group which gave me the opportunity to take part in the Ojai Studio artist’s annual tour.

Growing up in Argentina, I had heard many songs and poems about Pachamama. It wasn’t until these last few years that her name has come to mean so much to me. Climate change is now widespread, seems to intensify each year and some of the damage we have caused is now irreversible.

The indigenous people of the Andes revered Pachamama as a goddess. She was Earth Mother to the Incas. Still today many indigenous peoples in South America base environmental concerns in these ancient beliefs, saying that problems arise when people take too much from nature because they are taking too much from Pachamama.

My new paintings are now focused on the theme of climate change and saving Pachamama.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Having started my art career later in life as an introvert posed financial, mental and physical struggles for me. I needed to go back to art school but couldn’t afford not to work. After 25 years in elementary education, I quit my administrative job and went back to school. I finished one amazing and intense year at the LA Academy of Figurative Art but I needed to go back to work. So I decided to work part-time to dedicate more time to painting. Working at several schools teaching art was very rewarding, a dream job, but physically I didn’t have the energy to paint as much as I would have liked. In addition, I learned quickly that artists must pay to show their work almost everywhere; pay to be represented, for marketing, for exhibits, and when you finally sell something the gallery or museum takes a hefty percentage. Not to mention the costs of art supplies! As everything today, being an artist demands social popularity. Not an introvert’s strength! and paying for marketing is out of the emerging artist’s budget.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I had my first solo show in 2014. That show, Revelations, was a series of portraits that reflected my personal inner journey. Mostly oils that show included some mixed media and acrylics. One of the elements included in many of the paintings was a butterfly. Butterflies at that time meant change and transformation. The promotion poster was full of them and so the butterfly became my signature. Although I continue to paint mostly portraits, I have moved to include more fantasy elements putting them in the category of magical realism. I continue to use oils but recently, I also started a series of graphite on wood pieces.

Locally however I’m Miss Mariana, the art teacher. I had the pleasure of teaching art through the local public schools in Ventura, Oxnard and Ojai. I also had many private students throughout the years.

What are your plans for the future?
I recently retired from teaching so I will be dedicating more time to painting. I plan to continue to improve my technique and learn new ones. I look forward to completing a series on saving the earth for a solo show, gardening and taking care of my two puppies.

Contact Info:

  • Email: mpeirano2020@gmail.com
  • Website: www.peiranoart.com
  • Instagram: peiranoart
  • Facebook: peiranoart

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