Meet the Maker Monday is back, and we have a very special one to share! Today we feature the work of Mary Jo Corsaro! (The mother of our store manager, Madeline!).
Mary Jo didn't start painting until much later in life. Her earliest memory was desperately wanting a turn at the artist's easel in grade school. She doesn't remember what she painted when she finally got the chance, but at the beginning of 2018 she finally picked up a brush once again! She started with online watercolor tutorials, took classes with Howard Van Buren and had lengthy chats on the philosophies of drawing with her daughter, Madeline.
In the fall of 2019, she tried an oil painting class with Pat Rini Rohrer and has continued with it ever since. Between running her own business, being an awesome mom to two grown daughters and making home renovations, Mary Jo found seasons of time to paint every morning, and seasons of time to work on urgent projects.
Mary Jo loves everything vintage. In 2020, she bought an 1896 Victorian that she's poured her heart into: repainting, rehabbing and redecorating with secondhand finds. This project inspired her to start selling a curated selection of vintage finds in our antique room. Periodically throughout the summer months, you'll find her outside our shop doing a pop-up sale of newly discovered gems!
Vintage photographs and objects inspire Mary Jo's paintings as well. She's a collector of art books and is often flipping through pictures of works by impressionist and tonalist painters. Her pieces have developed a great sense of light, color and mood, which we love!
If you've ever considered painting before, we hope these images serve to inspire. It takes a long time to develop a new skill, and painting is no exception. What may appear to be talent, is actually years of practice, a willingness to fail, and the perseverance to pick up the paint brush whenever you can.
We are thrilled to feature Mary Jo's new collection of oil paintings! You can see some of her work below or stop by in person. They currently hang on our "loft" - the landing just above the counter for The Company Store.