Introduction to my Journey

Hello! My name is Mary and I’m thirty-one years old, this will be my fifth winter in Alaska after having moved here from California, people typically ask me why I would move from sunny California to a place that is dark and cold for nearly half of the year. My answer encompasses my general distaste for highly populated areas and my desire to be able to experience seasons aside from hot and sunny. The truth is a bit more complex than that, but probably doesn’t wander too far from the answers that others may have when they’re enthralled with a state as beautiful as this one. I have two dogs that are the bane of my existence (although I love them quite dearly) and a life partner who has made it his mission in life to show me everything Alaska has to offer. I’ve been obsessed with artwork since I was a child and as a result, being an artist actually constitutes a good portion of my income as an adult (more on that later). Professionally, I consider myself a freelance writer—other than this website, I am a partner, the head writer and editor at Puzzle Box Horror, where I contribute articles and original fiction regularly. My business partner and I are currently awaiting the delivery of our first print publication.

Artwork by Aaron Blaise
Artwork by Aaron Blaise

A quick note on the artwork that I added above, I have an affinity for just about every form of art there is, but the one above was digitally painted by Aaron Blaise an illustrator and cartoonist who is responsible for Disney classics like Brother Bear.

Art Assignment - Color and Shading Study
Art Assignment – Color and Shading Study (by Mary Farnstrom)

At the end of this last winter, I began to volunteer at the Fairbanks Art Association, just to contribute where I could, but when COVID-19 moved us all into quarantine, everything was moved online and my janitorial services were no longer required. In truth, I just wanted to get closer to the art community in Fairbanks, since I myself am an artist. As I mentioned earlier, I have been obsessed with art since I was a child, but largely the skills that I have developed up until now were self-taught. In an effort to streamline my work and boost productivity, I began to take digital art classes online. I’ve even included one of my own assignments from one of the courses I took prior to this semester, which helped me hone my Photoshop skills for digital art. I have a great deal of admiration for the masters throughout the ages and am incredibly excited to learn more about all the different styles that we’ll be looking into this semester.

This is a timelapse digital painting I did earlier in the year (unfortunately before I decided to ultimately purchase the video editing software) as you can see it was a photo study and it was just as much fun as it looks.

NOTE: If you somehow navigate away from the art blog portion of my website and you wish to return to see all posts in this section, just head to the “Artwork” or “Blog” menu options and you’ll find a link back here.

14 thoughts on “Introduction to my Journey

  1. Your dinosaur shading exercise is creative and wonderful. I know what you mean about wanting to give to the art community. Since lock down I have been offering my services to the ukulele community. I do a Friday Night Jam and Open Mic that has been well received. Folks from all over the world have joined in.

  2. I love the shading picture, so creative. I also love what you have done with the page and all that you have added to it so far. I look forward to seeing what the semester brings with your blog.

  3. Hi Mary, I’m pretty sure we have Creative Writing together as well. Although I grew up in Alaska, I also lived in California for a while and had similar feelings about it. Your writing is very eloquent and I’m excited to get your take on art!

    1. Yes we do! I just went back and commented on your first week’s assignment. Your writing eloquent as well! I’m glad we have these two classes together, I’m sure we could give each other some great feedback!

  4. If you’d ever consider submitting some of your work for publication, Dixie State University has an online literary journal and is currently open for submissions.

    You can check us out at https://www.r7review.com/. The deadline to submit this year is November 6th.

    We are in dire need of fiction and nonfiction submissions like this. We also accept memoirs, audio recordings, visual art, book reviews, multimedia (video/audio), photography, etc.

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