Walter S. Mayo
My life journey has taken many different turns in the arts. While my professional training is in the performance and teaching of music, visual art has been a life-long interest and passion. My first influence was my Aunt Pearl, our family’s first artist. It was not only her passion for art and life which I remember, but also her jolly laugh and the flamboyant color of her life. Perhaps it was looking at her paintings or just listening to her describe how she painted plates and bowls that caught my imagination. My mother was always proud of any artwork that she obtained from my Aunt.
As a child I used to draw cartoon figures and make arts and crafts; I took my first instruction in art from a correspondence course in figure drawing. In school I gravitated to crafts and drawing with charcoal. As I have gotten older, painting with pastels has become my preferred artistic medium because it is direct, immediate, and spontaneous. Recently, I have experimented with combining pen and ink, charcoal, acrylic, and/or watercolor with pastel.
My artistic themes are varied, although lately I have been experimenting with combining abstraction and realism—anything that captures my attention. While I emphasize color and realism as a means of communication, it is the artistic vision which makes the painting interesting to me. By vision I mean the presentation of a unique physical setting or subject, the contrast of form and texture, the use of color and form, and/or a unique involvement of the eye, mind, and body with the subject—in short, whatever the artist sees that others do not.
My Aunt shared her passion for art, which greatly influenced me. I hope that I can honor her life by sharing my passion for art through my paintings.