Home 2019 Fall 2019 Meet Artist Marisa Aragón Ware

Meet Artist Marisa Aragón Ware

Marisa Ware (photo by Colin Mills)

Exploring the Art of Nature & the Nature of Art

Marisa Aragón Ware was born and raised in Colorado, where she developed a deep appreciation of nature. Her art depicts the natural world and the impermanent nature of life. She uses pen and ink, paper, and digital mediums to create art. Aragón Ware is also a tattoo artist and children’s book author.

H+G: How do you describe your artistic style and what is your preferred medium?
Marisa Aragón Ware: I create detailed depictions of the natural world that often contain allegorical messages. I work in a variety of mediums, including paper sculpture, pen and ink, watercolor, tattoo, and digital media, and the one I choose for a piece is often decided by the intended use of the art. For instance, when I am doing illustration for commercial clients, I typically start by drawing the piece with pen and ink, and then I scan it and color it digitally with Photoshop. If I’m making a piece of art for a gallery show, I’ll often choose to create a paper sculpture.

Photo by Michael Allen/michaelallenvisuals.com

H+G: What is your favorite thing about creating art?
Aragón Ware: I feel a sense of purpose when I am creating art. I feel most aligned with who I truly am and what I have to offer to this world.

H+G: What is your greatest challenge about creating art?
Aragón Ware: I think that all artists deal with doubt that rears its head from time to time. The doubt has an endless amount of things to say, from “your work really isn’t worthwhile” to “you’re never going to become successful.” I’ve learned to allow that voice of fear to exist, because there’s no turning it off, but I no longer give it credence.

H+G: What inspires you?
Aragón Ware: Nature is my main source of inspiration. The pattern of a passing butterfly’s wing or the delicate unfurling of a fern frond can easily ignite within me a desire to emulate such precision and beauty. Kindness inspires me, as well as mindfulness and awareness. I love going to big cities like New York, visiting the museums and seeing the great works of art. But my heart is in the mountains and all the inspiration I could ever ask for is there.

Photo by Michael Allen/michaelallenvisuals.com

H+G: What terrifies you?
Aragón Ware: Climate change. The loss of the myriad beautiful and diverse species of life on this planet. Polar bears going extinct. Blue whales and tigers and monarch butterflies disappearing forever because of human greed. Also, the heartlessness and lack of compassion with which humans can treat animals, specifically in factory farming.

H+G: Why are you drawn to paper?
Aragón Ware: Paper sculpture is an obscure medium. When I say I make paper sculptures, most people can’t immediately picture what that looks like. It’s fun to show people what’s possible with just a bit of glue and some paper. I really enjoy the aesthetic of paper sculptures—it can look almost like marble or ceramics. There’s an element of problem solving that goes into each piece that can be frustrating, time-consuming and labor-intensive, but the end result is always worth it. I love building tiny worlds with my hands, and I appreciate that paper sculptures walk the line between two- and-three dimensional.

H+G: What artists do you admire?
Aragón Ware: I really admire my friend Neil Yarnal, a local painter and designer. His work is both playful and skillful, and his dedication to his craft is admirable. I also admire my friend Edica Pacha, a Boulder photographer and mural artist. She creates in-camera double exposure photos that have magical and potent imagery. Bryce Widom is another local artist whose work I absolutely adore. He has an ability to depict the spiritual and the physical realms simultaneously through his colorful and uplifting paintings. Other artists I admire who are not local include Tara Donovan, Josie Morway, Teagan White, James Jean, Josh Keyes, James Gurney and Jeremy Mann.

Photo by Michael Allen/michaelallenvisuals.com

H+G: What is your favorite pastime?
Aragón Ware: I love spending time in nature with my dog, Echo. We go running in the Flatirons almost every day, which is a great way to experience the subtle changes of the seasons. I take the time to notice which flowers are blooming, and when the wild chokecherries are ripe. In winter, I throw snowballs for my dog to chase, and in summer we’ll jump in the creek when it gets hot. I’m also an avid meditation practitioner, and I try to keep a consistent daily shamatha or mindfulness practice. I find this helps me be present for whatever arises in my life, which aids my creativity and productivity.

H+G: What do you want your art to say?
Aragón Ware: I strive to depict the magic of the natural world that is so obvious and clear to me in order to help others connect with and, therefore, cultivate care for the environment. Whether that is through researching endangered species and then creating imagery to raise awareness or through making delicate paper sculptures depicting the intricate beauty of an ordinary forest floor, I attempt to awaken the viewer to the reality of the world we are living in, where so much is at stake.

View Marisa Aragón Ware’s art at marisaware.com and on Instagram

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