Local artist has painting in DNA
It could be that genetics played a role in Coquihalla Middle School art teacher Fame Mackney knowing her way around a canvas.
The family talent likely started with her great grandmother learning the craft from Emily Carr when she was around 15 years old.
“I think the love of art was passed down biologically through my great grandmother,” Mackney said. “I was lucky... I discovered my passion early in life.”
Mackney said she remembers vividly her first art experience when looking at the white walls of her home and then seeing her mother’s bright red lipstick.
It wasn’t long after that the walls were covered with smattered lipstick, and then the wall art continued with a pirate scene in a sea of felt pen.
“I remember thinking that everything should be decorated,” she recalled. “So I grabbed the lipstick and went to town decorating the walls and my mother’s makeup mirror.”
Today, Mackney still draws on walls by painting murals. But her work extends to body art, depicting her creations onto people’s skin.
She suspects that started when she was very young and drawing on her grandmother’s arms with felt pen.
“I would take a ballpoint pen or a felt and she would let me draw all over her arms and I remember her letting me do it,” she said. “It’s pretty cool when you have a grandmother that will let you draw all over her.”
Most of the tattoo and mural projects are completed during the summer, when Mackney is away from her teaching duties.
Due to the scheduled Coquihalla Middle School closure at the end of this academic year, Mackney is being transferred to Merritt Secondary School where she might teach students to draw pirate scenes on walls with felt pens — though her work now is a bit less abstract.