Marium Rana, Float, 2015. Ink, watercolor, metallic gold gouache, and marker on paper
Mother’s Day is a day of appreciation for the person who raised us. Mom. Grandma. Aunt. Cousin. Yourself…whoever you celebrate this Mother’s Day, show your gratitude with brunch at Mary Eddy’s on Sunday, May 9th from 10am-2pm. As a special Mother’s Day token, a 3×5 print by Oklahoma-based artist Marium Rana will be gifted with each reservation.
We spoke with Marium, who recently became a mom herself, and asked her to reflect on motherhood, working moms in the arts, and her artistic practices.
21c: Can you please share a little bit about the print you created for this Mother’s Day celebration?
MR: This print is a reproduction of an artwork called Float. I drew this work in black ink then colored it using watercolor, metallic gold gouache, and marker. This work was created during a quiet, introspective, drawing session, curled up at home, in my hometown in Florida.
21c: How has motherhood impacted your artistic practice?
MR: I used to sit down and create work in the middle of the night. Something about the stillness of the night and no interruptions really impacted my ability to work quickly and joyfully. With my 9-month-old daughter, I’ve adjusted my schedule. A lot more of my work is done mentally before I get to the drawing and painting part, mainly because I don’t have the luxury of an abundance of time as when I worked for 9 hours straight and made up for a week of sleepless nights with one day of sleeping.
I think I also have become more selective in what I take on as I think of time with her as a priority. I am also learning that she sees everything that I do and wants to be included. I am constantly thinking of how to keep her happy and included while I work. Sometimes she’s in my lap, other times she’s in the bouncer or crib playing.
21c: How do you see your daughter growing up around your art?
MR: The day I learned I was pregnant, I went to the Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa. I enjoy time with myself. I went to the museum and really thought about the impending change in my life. I imagined my baby going to museums with me. I am patiently waiting for that day. I’m looking forward to the day she recognizes my work on the walls of some place other than our home.
21c: How has your relationship with your own mother, or any mothering figures, shaped you as an artist?
MR: I am the youngest of my siblings and the only daughter, so my mom and I had a friendship that felt like a sisterhood and mother daughter bond. My maternal grandmother did not speak a lot but she always said the best, most memorable things. Her humor was infectious and in her youth she made the whole room light up with laughter at her physical comedy. My grandmother enjoyed my drawings and we bonded over a love of color.
My mother’s sister is an artist, she would have conversations with us and make art simultaneously and seemingly effortlessly. I enjoy drawing and conversing just like her and look back at those moments fondly. She even altered my wedding dress on the day of my wedding by just looking at it and pinning it in my right place. Her sense of style and optimism have always inspired me.
21c: Over the past months we have been asking artists “how are you cultivating community for yourself and what can the community be doing to support artists?” Feel free and add any thoughts you have about community and support for working moms, as well.
MR: I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the foundation of a new space which is our three person family. During this quarantine, I really understood my role as a new mother, full time artist, and member of this greater place — Earth. I feel elated that my life has become brighter as I channel my experience as an art teacher into my everyday by reading, decorating, creating works of art, and being invited into new spaces to create.
At a time where I still felt so new to Oklahoma, I got to be a part of the Oklahoma community of artists through the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition (OVAC) and its numerous opportunities such as 24 Works on Paper and Momentum 2021 as a spotlight artist. These experiences have opened doors for me. And I am grateful for every part of that.
Instagram has been a great way to see what other artists are doing. The accessibility of art from home through artist lectures and internet collections have been wonderful. I look forward to a more accessible future for all art lovers and just the joy of viewing works in person.
More About the Artist:
Marium Rana is an American-born Pakistani visual artist, who works primarily in ink and aqueous media. She is a graduate from Florida State University, where she received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Studio Art in 2013 and a Masters in Art Education in 2014. For five years, Marium taught fine art and art history in Tampa, Florida. She currently resides in Oklahoma, where she paints from her home studio. You can find some of Marium’s work on view at 21c Oklahoma City as part of the Momentum Spotlight Elevate exhibition on the third floor. The exhibition is presented in partnership with the OVAC as part of their annual exhibition Momentum, which presents works by Oklahoma artists ages 30 and younger, working in any medium they choose. Learn more about Marium’s work on her website and follow her on Instagram.