Creating is a primitive ritual that helps keep us connected to humanity and ourselves. In Rising Strong, Brené Brown writes that creativity “embeds knowledge so that it can become practice. We move what we’re learning from our heads to our hearts through our hands. We are born makers…”

I have an extensive background in visual art and graduated from The School of Visual Arts in New York City in 2006. Two years ago, the desire to share my love of art was ignited when I began teaching painting at a venue for painting parties. The art process entailed leading a group of adult students through the creation of a painting in two hours. It taught me a lot about the human condition and myself. I learned quickly that my ego has no part in this process. I also learned that under all of the self deprecating comments and struggles from my adult students, ultimately they were afraid to create and had forgotten how to play. I began to formulate methods to make the classes as playful and painless as possible, sending patrons home with work they were proud of and, hopefully, the courage to keep creating.

Mason’s work centers around abstract expressionism that ranges from personal emotional exploration to finding new ways to represent landscape imagery.