DSC_0108Mahala Ann is a young, self-taught artist from Dallas Texas.

Her work is mostly mixed-media, often blending torn canvas, paint, and gold leaf. She creates primarily soothing images that make the viewer think about how they view themselves in relation to how they view others.

For inquiries: mahalannart@gmail.com

Second Semester at RISD: month 2

More class. More art. I am continually fascinated by the quantity of art produced by myself and my classmates. And whats so surprising is that it doesn’t get old. The old axiom “there’s nothing new under the sun” is disproved daily. Every studio feels like a vat of originality. It seems crazy that last year I would spend months on a painting and now my week-long projects are more developed. Everyday I am challenged to not let myself get used to this environment. There is an incredible value to recognizing how abnormal this experience is.

Second Semester at RISD: month 1

I am now in my second true semester and have been challenged again with the incredible work load. Because of that I feel that I’ve created enough quality work to brake these into months. This past month I have been drawing with dirt and experimenting with various body extensions along with learning Rhino (3d modeling software).


Wintersession: Figure Modeling Marathon

During RISD’s winter semester I took a rigorous course in figure modeling taught by Alba Corrado. We modeled portraits (45 hours), seated(12 hours), and standing(60 hours) figures directly from a live model and completed a final individual project.  My final project is a master copy of Jean-Antoine Houdon’s “Winter” at one-third scale.




The Accusers

acrylic paint, oil paint, canvas, paper, gold leaf on wood panel

Mahala-201 These pieces are a continuation of The Sufferers series titled The Accusers. These are designed to involve the viewer in the suffering. To make them feel as if they caused the suffering of the subject.

The Sufferers: Anoymous

The Sufferers: Anoymous





The Sufferers: AnoymousThese two pieces are part of a series called The Sufferers. I wanted to show how suffering manifests itself with human emotion and make the viewer empathize and identify with the subject. This series includes The Sufferers: Self, Summer sketches, Imagine Complexly: 2012, Imagine Complexly: 2014 and others.




Ambedo is a divine feeling.

Being caught up in a simple, commonplace moment or noticing the beauty of a form for an instant, stretches time. Somehow seeing a swirling stream or blowing leaf simultaneously makes you feel more present in that moment and more distant from the rest of the universe. Almost as if only you and the newly extraordinary object exist. But in feeling that, the moment drifts away as you realize that the beautiful thing and everything else will all cease to exist someday. Every observant person knows this feeling.

Visual art often involves taking ordinary objects, feelings, or ideas and challenges the viewer to see them in a different way. Unlike an artists interpretation, these moments in and of themselves are art. They are art sans an artist. Or for me, this consciousness of beauty is a glimpse at spirituality, something beyond the physical earth.


The Ritual

colored pencil & acrylic on paper & canvas 2014

colored pencil & acrylic on paper & canvas

My room and surroundings are very important to my art-making process. These are a few artifacts that hold memories. The arrowhead is from Arkansas, where my parents own a camp. The blue bottle my mother found in the garden when we moved to a new home. In the spring, I cut Magnolia blooms for the vase like my Papa always does. They remind me of things that have changed, and things that have remained the same.


Summer Sketchbook 1


The summer of 2014 I began experimenting with mixing india ink with color pencil. I chose to use india ink to add an abstract, linear layer that would contrast with the organic human form. Her reverent posture is used to evoke ideas of a prayerful Virgin Mary. I paired that with ideas from Sea Blush in her pupil-less, soulless eyes. With this series of sketches I wish to emphasize the suffering that comes from devotion.

Sea Blush

acrylic on canvas 2012-2014

acrylic on canvas

I set out to make this piece as technically perfect as I could, so I continued to alter things as my skill increased. I still consider it incomplete so it can continue to evolve in such a manner. However, I want to maintain the ideas that the piece stemmed from. In Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story, the main character is clinically depressed and refers to the things that make him sad or anxious as tentacles. The tentacles wrap him up and consume him, making him feel emotionless and stuck. In regard to my piece, I decided to hide the tentacles in her hair to show that many people have things they cover up that suck their vitality from them. I chose to paint her eyes cloudy and without pupils to suggest her lifelessness. Before this, I created several watercolor and gauche sketches of octopuses and jellyfish intermixed with hair to convey the same ideas.