Madison Memering, Nature-Inspired Artist, Watercolor Painter, & Michigander Talks About Natural Art,
Madison is a self-proclaimed artist interested in capturing natural subjects. For the past years, she has been diving into observing plants, mushrooms, & insects to illustrate & paint with watercolors. She also tries to save time to experiment with printing & working with clay. Madison's art showcases beautiful earthy tones and intricate details. As a nature-inspired artist, her love of the planet and the earth shines through in such a beautiful way through her work.
Madison's first introduction to cannabis came through D.A.R.E assemblies, (we definitely remember those), so she was pretty alarmed when she had her first run-in with the plant. "When I look back at when I was first really introduced to cannabis, I couldn’t help but laugh. I was in middle school & I had learned that one of my best friends had bought a small amount of cannabis from an older kid in school. I was so disappointed in him that I called him crying, to try to prevent him from going down the wrong path in life.
I grew up in a closed-minded village community. I remember having big D.A.R.E assemblies in elementary that instilled fear in me. I don’t even remember if I actually knew what marijuana really was at that time, I just knew it was ‘bad’. I chose to recall this memory because if you knew me, I think you’d find this story pretty amusing."
Since then, her thoughts on canna-usage & the canna-community have completely changed. "I was told that the only outcome of using marijuana was negative throughout my childhood & that was ingrained in the school systems. I feel as if this plant is such a positive thing in my life when used the way I choose to."
Madison has faced some stigma due to her cannabis consumption with people assume what kind of lifestyle she must lead. "I will get the occasional, ‘Oh you’re an artist? Must be so nice just to hang out all day, smoke & finger paint’. Which makes me chuckle, but; I do find it quite disrespectful to assume that I don’t have to work just as hard during my day to work at my craft."
Not only is Madison making moves and hard at work when it comes to creating, but she has also found benefits from her cannabis consumption. "Canna-products really gave me a sense of myself that I am thankful to be in touch with. I can truly slow down & enjoy the little things life gives me. I have a higher sense of self that I’m not sure I would have been able to reach without my life experience." So beautiful!
She believes there is a misconception when it comes to the idea of cannabis consumption meaning the same thing for every person. "When people are confronted with cannabis they always recall a negative experience. I choose to consume it because it does not make me feel the same." Cannabis consumption is such a personal thing, that can be so different depending on who you are and what's going on.
Madison did not discover her love of art until her 20s. "I had no idea that I wanted to pursue art until I was around 20. I had not incorporated art in my life since I was very young. My story is probably way different than your average artist. I was invited to a craft night with friends, and I had to go out to buy colored pencils before participating. I started drawing some and everyone was so impressed with my skills. They asked me why I never brought this up about my life but I had to explain that this was the first time I had drawn in so many years. Since then, I have never stopped. It is quite interesting to think where my life would have taken me without that night. I can’t recall where I was going without a creative outlet."
Part of what we love so much about her work is that it is rooted in nature and the beauty of the earth. "I am constantly trying to connect with nature at every chance I get. Using natural mediums, elements, and designs makes me feel one with the earth. Finding inspiration as I step outside, guides my work. This is a way for me to slow down and really appreciate a living creature or object. With every plant, mushroom, insect drawing, or painting, I feel as if I am paying tribute to something so amazing. It is a way to shed light on living things many people don’t think about on a daily basis. If I can teach someone about a certain idea or a living organism, that feels so rewarding. I try to make others more mindful of the things living in their backyard!" We love this beautiful expression and exercise of mindfulness and gratitude that is blooming into this beautifully crafted art!
While Madison was always interested in plants and nature. She doesn't recall ever making an intentional decision to only base her work in this realm. However, she did recall a few things that stood out to her from childhood that might have contributed. "I would spend all day collecting bugs and right before the sun would set I would make sure to release everything, digging in the dirt to search for earthworms after a hard rain, catching baby turtles in the hot summer afternoons & making enclosures for them with lake water & muck to keep overnight (always releasing them in the morning), searching for Salamanders every Fall in that one spot around my childhood home... So much of my childhood was spent outside getting my hands dirty in nature. I would have to say this interest at a young age has evolved into incorporating so many natural subjects into my work."
Madison is still very much exploring her creative interests and works, "I am still finding myself in my work. Because I haven't been painting for very long, I feel like my creative works are constantly changing. I see so much improvement in such a little amount of time & it’s thrilling! I’m so excited to see where I am in the next few years."
Madison finds inspiration in a job well done. "The most inspiring thing for me is finishing work; it drives me to keep exploring. Every project is intimidating to me still & when I complete something I am still so grateful that my hands are able to capture what I am trying to do. I am inspired every day to let my process bloom."
We love that Madison is surrounded by both thriving cannabis and art communities in SW Michigan. "The cannabis community is accepted & growing in SW Michigan. With dispensaries being built on every corner in my city, it seems as if I am exposed to it every day on the sidewalks. The art scene is so supportive in my city. I love that art shows & events line the streets downtown every month in the summer & really love being able to be a part of the artist community around my area."
Speaking of thriving, Madison continues to grow her store, "I started selling my work shortly after sharing it on the internet. I have had an overwhelming amount of support from the very start that I am so grateful for. I have been selling prints, original paintings, commissioned paintings, ceramics, & screen-printed apparel recently. I try to share the beauty of the world that I see through my consumable goods."
Madison has found benefits from cannabis consumption when it comes to creativity as well. " I do think using cannabis has benefited my creative thinking in my art process. It can allow me to think from different angles that my busy mind might not comprehend on its own."
For anyone starting to dip their toe into the creativity pool (with or without cannabis), Madison says encouraging yourself is key! “Find resources that help you start this project and just do it. I have spent so much time thinking that I do not have the skill to share my work with others. The only thing that prevented me from growing was not starting.”
We love the gorgeous intricate design that Madison put together for this launch collection! We love that it truly came from a place of love. “The design that I put together for this launch is so special to me! I was able to work directly from the beautiful leaves of plants that my partner cares for. Whenever I get the chance to work directly from a subject it excites me.” That is so amazing, we were literally in tears when we read how truly organic and beautiful that process was!
When it comes to inspirations, Madison selected some strong bold female artists we also love. “Two art icons first come to mind when you ask who are my biggest inspirations in the art world: Frida Kahlo & Georgia O'Keeffe. They were revolutionary women in the art world that were so powerful. But I am constantly inspired by artists with today’s technology. With social media, it is so easy to consume all types of art.”
Madison works primarily with ink & watercolor, but is excited to be diving back into screen-printing & clay work again! She is always working on several projects at a time, “I am so full of ideas that I know I won’t tire from my craft any time soon. The thing I may be the most excited about is getting back into throwing clay on a wheel. I plan to bring back my mushroom coffee or tea mugs where I hand-build mushroom-looking structures on the side of the mugs. I find them so, so beautiful.” We definitely are going to be putting those on our shopping list!
When not making art, you might find Madison with some of her plant babies! We were in awe of the gorgeous foliage family she has thriving at home, and like any good mom, she loves them all equally. “ As a plant mama, I can’t just pick one as my favorite. I do have a little show-stopper that attracts the eyes of all my house guests, my aglaonema. If you’re looking for an easy & forgiving plant to take care of that has pops of color, I suggest looking into this family. I try to watch my plants & get a sense of when they are showing me they are thirsty. Paying close attention to this prevents me from over-watering, a common mistake when taking care of plants.”
As if we were not impressed enough, Madison is also quite a talented musician. We love her beautiful calming vocals and instrumental work! We look forward to doing a live performance at some point to share some of her beautiful music. “I grew up in a house of music. When I attended my first concerts, I was in my mother’s belly. My mother played the piano and organ for most of her life. She managed and taught music lessons out of my great-grandmother’s music store from a young age. As she raised my brother & I, she would teach piano lessons out of our home. I remember sitting in the next room listening & humming along to the familiar tunes for hours after school. She wanted me to play & I did for years but didn’t want to pursue piano anymore. She insisted that I continue to try to learn some instrument & somehow I made my way to a guitar. Once I started playing the guitar, my love for singing came shortly after. I have always loved to sing & strum along.”
Madison is also very passionate about sustainability and being mindful of the impacts we are making on this planet, “I do try to talk about sustainability and decreasing one's carbon footprint at any chance I get! To get people thinking about sustainability is super important for the longevity of our mother earth. I try to bring up this idea through my social media pages with lighter, maybe more fun subjects: recycling, reusing & thrifting! This is definitely an idea I want to incorporate more into sharing. It really just starts with being conscious about your consumption and waste. That has evolved into so many more aspects in my life.” A message that is so incredibly important these days, in our opinion.
We also have to take a moment of appreciation for Madison’s gift of thrift! With an eye for a look and a deal, there is so much thrift inspo in her content! She even has found some wins when it comes to toke-related thrifting! “I am a sucker for a good thrifted ashtray. I have a few beautiful trays & catch-alls to hold my goodies. Makes for easy cleaning as well!”
When it comes to cannabis accessibility, Madison is inspired by positive change in the local community. “Living in Michigan, I was able to see so much change in the cannabis community in such a short amount of time. In December of 2018, it was claimed legal and about a year later is when things really started rolling. It’s really surreal to see so many things and people’s ideas shift in a short amount of time. I am hopeful to see the domino effect throughout the country and really hoping to see new developments in past offenders seeing justice for past crimes involved with cannabis. I don’t quite think it is fair that I get to participate in this culture now because I have stayed out of trouble before it became legal.”
She is excited by the opportunity in the hemp sector when it comes to the future of cannabis. “One thing I have been hearing with the warmer weather is a lot of new hemp farms are starting to pop up in my radius. This is very exciting to me to have a little hope in bringing this natural, sustainable, beautiful product back into many of our industries! We truly need to utilize this plant more.”
When it comes to her own personal consumption, Madison is all about balance. “I incorporate cannabis when I feel like it is appropriate during my work hours. Appropriate only meaning when I feel like it will be a creative tool and not more of a distraction. Cannabis is essential in my winding down routine at the end of any day.”
Madison is fortunate enough to live with her partner who recreationally grows cannabis as an enthusiast. “He likes to experiment with salves, concentrates, edibles and cooking with different fusions. We are fortunate that we really don’t have to look towards our local dispensaries to gain access to these things. I am amazed at this shea butter-coconut oil-based salve that my partner produced. I had a pinched nerve at the beginning of the week & after using that only once, my aches subsided.” That sounds so amazing!
We love that Madison is so in touch with both herself and the earth, it makes sense that the advice she would impart to her younger self would be to, “Love yourself, let yourself bloom. Do not hinder your growth because it is not the ‘status-quo’, you will leave this small town & never look back at the things that strayed you away from yourself.”
We love that she continues to both grow and connect, and that is something that she is able to find through her creating and making process. “Connecting with people from all over the world is something I never thought would happen. Having strangers tell me how my paintings make them feel or of a memory from childhood is really mind-blowing. It’s amazing to have this connection with so many nature lovers.”
Madison believes that there are so many possibilities to incorporate cannabis for a better way of life. “It’s really hard to narrow in on one type of person that could benefit from plant medicine. My mind goes to helping individuals with anxiety, chronic pain, illnesses, addicts... Even a person who does not experience any of these things can benefit.”
Stay tuned to see Madison's beautiful work in the StoStonedCo 4/20 Merch Launch! To learn more about Madison and her work please follow her on Instagram @mamemering and check out her site https://www.madisonmemering.com.