Combining Art With Writing ... A Note from Mary Montague Sikes
Balancing the life of an author and an artist is difficult and often impossible. How does one write, promote, paint, teach and have another life besides? It's not easy, but sometimes it's rewarding as well as fun.

For the next couple of months, I will be combining art and writing lives with an exhibition of my Maya Ruins paintings that were created from photos I took on trips to Palenque and to Chichen Itza in Mexico. The Palenque trip was particularly challenging because it required a flight on a small plane we chartered from Huatulco across the jungles of southern Mexico to a grass airstrip near the ruins. While there I was astonished and amazed at the depth of the jungle overgrowth that covered the huge number of ruins not yet unrevealed. When I returned home, I relied on my pictures to provide resource materials for the dozen large acrylic paintings I created in my studio.

Those paintings are on view through July 10 at Crossroads Art Center, 2016 Staples Mill Road in Richmond. The public is invited to an opening reception, Friday, May 18 from 6 to 9 p.m. The event will include a book signing for my adventure novel, Jungle Jeopardy. Inspired by my travels to the Maya Ruins and by Indiana Jones-type perils, this book finds a perfect setting among my paintings located in Gallery One at the Art Center.

Thursday, May 17, my art show and book signing will be featured in a segment on Virginia This Morning, CBS Channel 6 Richmond, between 9 and 10 a.m.  Please be sure to join us!


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