Facebook Page: FirtlMind Designs: Art by Mary Meehan Firtl
Biography and Artist Statement:
I’ve always found comfort in art. Comfort and a sense of belonging when I was able take art classes as a child and get lost in a world of drawing and painting. In high school I experimented in various mediums and became a self-proclaimed watercolorist, pen & ink person, printmaker, and painter. Being accepted into art school at the Herron School of Art, my main focus was on painting and printmaking. While a student, I was called upon to do court room sketches for two Indianapolis television stations. In 1978 I received my BFA in painting with a minor in printmaking. Upon graduating I had several work opportunities that presented themselves in positions as an art director for a bank’s in house print shop, product and fashion illustration at the former Robertson’s Department Store, agency production artist, freelance illustrator, and then later to utilize my drawing skills and serve as a court room sketch artist for over 18 years for WSBT-TV22. Through my connection at the station, I segued into graphic design with a part-time position for over nine years. My “claim to fame” was covering the Mike Tyson trial for CBS. Later I was employed full time as an Art Director at a local marketing firm and cut my teeth further into the Graphic Design field.
When able, I would enroll in evening classes at the South Bend Museum of Art taking classes in etching, photography, pottery, and pastel portraits. In 2006 I took a Landscapes in Pastel class that led to joining the newly formed Northern Indiana Pastel Society. I’ve had two solo exhibits at CircaArts Gallery in South Bend, IN, and one at the Buchanan Art Center in Buchanan, Michigan, and won numerous awards through competitions within the NIPS, The South Bend Museum of Art, and one with the BAC. In 2016 my pastel painting was selected to be featured along with 27 other winners of the Hoosier Women Artists competition and had been on exhibit in Indianapolis statehouse.
The goal of my work often leads to inviting the viewer down the path to enjoy and savor the same scenery that captured my initial attention. Though landscapes have become my first love, I also delve into portrait work, still lives, and flora and fauna. Many of my pieces are available for purchase and I’ve created custom pastel paintings for clients both as art pieces and as commercial illustration for clients 1st Source Bank and the Kelly Cares Foundation.
Presently I am a Senior Graphic Designer at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN in the Integrated Marketing and Communications Department. I continue taking pastel classes at the SBMA and working in my home studio. My pastel paintings have been featured at CircaArts Gallery, the Dot Shop at the SBMA, and hang in private collections in the US and the Netherlands. I also offer freelance design services through my business FirtlMind Designs.
My work and often the process, can be viewed via facebook: FirtlMind Designs: Art by Mary Meehan Firtl