Magic And Nature Ignite Artist's Creativity



On the warm sands of a deep grotto a mermaid contemplates a turtle.

Contemplation is in the eye of the beholder. The two enchanted beings might be communicating.


A mermaid in a mythical sea is part of Su von Mazo's "Enchanted Beings" collection.

"The mermaid was going to be a fairy," watercolor artist Su von Mazo said of her smiling, golden-haired, creature of a mythic sea.

She began to darken the greens in the grotto that would surround the fairy. That was when it evolved and became a mermaid.

Against the mysterious greens, the mermaid seems to glow softly like an opalescent shell.

"The Mermaid and the Turtle" is one of two watercolor paintings she has completed so far for "The Enchanted Beings" Collection.

"Dance of the Columbine Fairy" is another artwork in the enchanted collection.

Columbine flowers growing wild in a friend's yard inspired von Mazo.

The third painting in the series, a portrait of a fairy bride, is near completion. When von Mazo finishes it she will decide on a title. The last fairy, will complement a flower that von Mazo said resembles a huge white morning glory.

And a unicorn may be the subject of the final watercolor in von Mazo's enchanted series.

"The next series will be "The Power of Dance" and I can't wait to get onto it," she said.

This series of four paintings will also show the moon in its four phases -- waxing, waning, new and full.

Von Mazo usually starts with a watercolor wash then uses water color pencils to draw into the painting, striking a balance between the picture in her mind and what may be.

"I don't always know what it will be," she said. "I may have something in mind using colors that I like but I kind of allow it to evolve as it is happening."

Although she does not have a TV, von Mazo appreciates technology. Sometimes she uses the Photoshop on the computer to "freeze" a painting in a photo, then she can decide what she wants as the next layer of color in a painting.

Watercolors are unforgiving and look muddy when painted over and over, she said.

A self-taught perfectionist when it comes to her art, von Mazo has been known to do a painting over and over again until she gets it just right.

"I'm a weekend artist," von Mazo said. Books on anatomy are tucked on shelves with her many art books.

She has lived in Hawaii, Utah, Nevada and Phoenix.

"You see different sides to nature everywhere you go," she said.

She moved with her daughter Gabrielle to the Rim Country in 1993 because she wanted to get back to nature.

Her business, Maid in Pine, keeps her busy through the work week.

"I don't know if I could do this if I had to be some great artist," von Mazo said. "I just keep experimenting until I get it right."


Name: Su von Mazo

Hobby: dancing

Favorite TV show: I don't own a TV. When I'm not working, I'm painting.

First series: "The Elements"

Series in progress: "The Enchanted Beings" Collection

Series she's anxious to begin: "The Power of Dance"

Inspiration: Nick Berezenko -- if he hadn't prompted me, my paintings would just be sitting at my house.

Best moment as an artist: When I look at a painting and can say, ‘Yeah! That's it! That has pop! I've pulled off my vision.'

Points of contact: Myra's Gallery in Pine and at Garden of Eden and Books & More in Payson.

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