ST. GEORGE- A writer and artist paints a picture of the vulnerability and persistence that led to her success, showing other artists that sharing forms of self-expression can truly lead to something great.
Mary Beesley is this painter and published author. She combined her ability to paint the stresses of life by getting lost in the stories and characters she once jotted down on paper. As she put aside her fear of judgment and openly shared her artistic gifts with the world, she turned those two passions into a full-time career that she loves.
Beesley is also a mother of three children. She recalled the variety of emotions she felt when she found out she was pregnant with her fourth child.
“I think I probably needed therapy, but instead I started writing stories,” Beesley said with a laugh.
A constant dreamer, Beesley said it was the first time she had written one of her stories. As she fell in love with writing, she wanted to increase her skills, so she enrolled in writing classes.
She said she wrote then every day and never stopped. Nine years later, Beesley is the published author of five books. She said that although she liked the process, it was not easy. As her transcripts were denied, she is grateful for her own perseverance and willingness to push forward, even when the going got tough.
“The contrasting mix of hard work and rejection can ultimately lead to something big. But it didn’t happen overnight,” Beesley said.
Beesley is the author of the Draco Sang Trilogy, a young adult fantasy series about twin brothers separated at birth and raised as enemies. The first book, “Dragon Blood”, was released in October 2020, and the final book in the trilogy, “Human Hearts”, was released in early June.
“I had this idea and you pull the thread and it grows and grows,” she said. “As I worked on it, the world got bigger and the characters grew. I loved writing every page of it.
Beesley’s five books have been published in the past five years, including “To Unite a Realm” and “Betting on Love.” In a bid to encourage others to open books more often, she said reading can be good for both the brain and the soul while teaching compassion.
Beesley said that with each of her books, she includes difficult situations with raw honesty and courage, similar to real life, but also ends her books with a message of hope. With a belief in the strength and power of human resilience, she said, each person is a strong and capable agent of their own power.
“We have control and we can be the drivers of our own lives,” she said. “I think telling a story is a great way to get that message across.”
As a writer, Beesley said she went through many rounds of edits, with structure and hard work. On the other hand, her paintings help her to feel less attached and free to express herself in a different way. She first fell in love with art in high school, but also felt that she was not traditional or good enough, as her art did not resemble those around her. As she got older and life got busier, she stopped painting altogether.
Then COVID-19 hit, and that’s when she said she decided to get her watercolors out. She, like many others, returned to her roots during quarantine, which was the silver lining to a chaotic situation. She found the painting process peaceful and relaxing, so she started painting more and more.
“That’s why my art is very whimsical, unstructured and colorful. It’s certainly not traditional. It’s a fun side where I don’t feel any pressure and I can do it on my own,” she said.
As she immersed herself in the Washington County art scene, Beesley said she had no idea how big the arts community really was. One day, while walking down the main street, she came across the artisan cooperative MoFACo. As she was talking to the girl at the counter who was also an artist, her sister was bragging about Beesley’s talent with painting. Initially hesitant and a bit embarrassed, she said she wasn’t sure if others would like her art as it was very different from the talented landscape paintings she had seen in the area.
“You can still live in the desert and have a picture of a leopard,” Beesley said. “People like what they like. It just took me a while to realize that.”
With a love for watercolor animals as well as abstract art, Beesley has recently dabbled in creating multimedia art. She says the more she paints, the more creative she becomes.
One piece of art she is currently working on, for example, features pieces of lace under acrylic paint as something new and unique.
“It’s really fun to write and paint because they’re both creative,” she says. “My books are also very artistic. I create stories and people, while my paintings couldn’t be more different.
Beesley said she sometimes feels like an impostor and other artists are real and she isn’t. She has seen people fall in love with her art and her books, and it has opened her eyes to how others view and interpret various art forms. For artists who fear being vulnerable and sharing their art forms with the world, she encouraged them to move from creating at home to a public platform.
She experienced firsthand the powerful feeling that comes from being vulnerable. To artists who remain hesitant, she said the world always needs more art and stories, and sharing is a true gift to others.
“We are all born creators in whatever way looks like us or means to us,” she said. “I’m so happy to see how respectful and kind people are towards my art and my books.”
As for her upcoming goals, Beesley said she’s currently working on the second book, “To Unite a Realm.” She’s also signed with an agent and has another novel in the works, which she hopes will be picked up soon.
For more on Beesley, visit her website or follow her on Instagram and Facebook. To chat with her in person, stop by her stall at the upcoming St. George’s Market in October.
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