Mary Koenen Clausen
Mary Koenen Clausen’s mixed media collages are rich in texture and image. Her works frequently are comprised of three visual fields or planes: the heavens, earth, and underworld. Figures composed of mismatched heads and bodies float among animals, icons, musical notes, and foreign texts on backgrounds thickly painted with deep hues. Mary sees the musical notes, symbols and foreign text, many of which she reproduces in her own hand, as messages emanating from her spiritual guides while channelling energy from other time and space dimensions. Hers is a truly unique creative process.
“The Conduit” mixed media, oil and collage on paper
Mary says of her process: “Collage is a matter of refining design. I sit with the pieces scattered around me and they come together. I always think in terms of layers. I don’t treat collage differently from painting.” She gathers her material from Italian magazines, 17th and 18th century Bibles, antique books, among other sources. Mary also uses photographs of her surroundings in her work. Her home and studio are full of paintings, photographs, wall hangings, dolls, and other collected objects, an environment that reflects the complexity of her work.
Painting is a spiritual process of transforming my soul from the physical to the metaphysical. All of my paintings speak about my relationship with a heavenly spiritual realm, in which a spirit being resides who I choose to call God. I have developed a deep and personal spiritual connection to God. In my lifetime, I have studied the beliefs of many world religions and share common connections between them.
A metaphor for my work is much like the lotus flower. It first takes root in the mud. The mud contains nutrients that the lotus needs to develop and grow. As I grow in God’s heavenly spheres of love and grace, becoming divine in my being, my paintings record this process of transformation. Many of my hand written marks are the nutrients that feed the center. They act to balance the overall symmetry in my work. For me, to view my paintings is to embrace the act of surrender and to connect to the heart of God’s grace.
All my paintings are created in a meditative state. God guides my physical body as his conduit to present divine knowledge. As I meditate and I pray, the combination of symbols, images and overall design comes to me. I am at peace then, my mind and heart are graced by God.
I believe we all have incomplete soul fragments within us. I embed soul fragments into each of my paintings. The painting’s soul fragments reach out to the viewer’s soul fragments to form an emotional connection. My paintings are prescriptive in nature, in that they help to heal the owner of the piece just by being in their environment and atmosphere. They bring creative and nourishing thoughts and feelings of the viewer through their mind, heart and soul. Each viewer will share a very unique and personal experience.
My cutout central figures represent the heart of God. The collage elements audition to appear in the painting. In the beginning they co-exsist, as singular forms linked to my soul’s fragments. The cutout elements perform a form of dance to create the central figures. Unity is created through the coming together of the moving pieces. This represents the awakening of God’s Heart. So, as in my paintings, the viewers of my work become engaged with the unity of the Divine.
“The Raining” mixed media, oil and collage on paper