Biographical Information
   
  Artist Statement
 

 

Painting landscapes gives me the opportunity to go out into nature and observe it very closely. Standing in a meadow, or in a forest, or on the shore of a lake gives me a chance to soak up the essence of the land and enjoy its rhythms. Everywhere I turn, I see vignettes of these rhythms and compositions, and then need to pick and choose those scenes that express most aptly what I am sensing from that particular spot. I spend a fair amount of time walking near my home, and I love being absorbed in this landscape.

Fall is the season I most vigorously venture out to paint the landscape. The changing colors and misty mornings draw me out of bed before dawn to climb a hill, or walk around a lake, to catch that singular moment in time- no morning being the same as another. Quickly I try to capture what I see on canvas and then run back to the studio to work out details. In the afternoon I scout out new places to get the last few rays of sun in the day, when our world is again transformed into color and light! Of particular interest to me is the fog which evokes a sense of mystery and poetry that gives metaphor and meaning to some of what I feel and want to articulate about our world and landscape. I also was entranced by painting directly into the sun, where one is blinded by the light, with trees and distance assuming bright, unearthly colors.

Capturing these many scenes is a time-honored vision. As civilization has encroached on the landscape, artists have been working hard to preserve the memory of wild areas. One such group were the Barbizon painters from 19th century France, who first felt the impact of industrialization. Painters like Rousseau and Millet strove to monumentalize everyday life and their surroundings, bringing in new honesty and soul to the world of painting. These ideas were echoed a few years later here in the United States by artists such as George Inness as he endeavored to give his landscapes a sense of the divine. My own connection to the natural world causes me to want to capture what I observe and experience. As our current wilderness continues to disappear right here in West Michigan, and we spread out and build more and more, I find that what we have left is increasingly sacred in my eyes.

 
  Personal Bio
 

 

Mary was originally trained as a graphic artist and worked for twenty years in the commercial field of graphic design and advertising. She fed her ongoing interest in fine art by taking courses and attending workshops. A number of years ago she finally decided to leave the graphic arts industry and pursue a full time career as a painter. Mary went to school attending Aquinas College from where she received a BFA in Painting in 1999. Since Mary received her degree she has been constantly painting. The landscape is her genre and she pursues it with a seldom seen discipline and passion working both plein air and in her studio.

   
  Special Recognitions
 

 

Governor's Residence Michigan Artists Program

During the summer of 2006 Mary participated in the Governor's Residence Michigan Artist Program. In a juried art competition, three of her paintings were chosen among artists in West Michigan to hang at the East Lansing home of the Governor. During an opening, Mary was able to meet and talk to Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm.

   
 

 

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore 2005 Artist in Residence

In the summer of 2005 Mary was chosen as one of two Artist-in-Residence for The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. She was invited to stay in the park at a lovely cottage overlooking Lake Michigan. From this vantage point Mary could observe the changing colors of the lake according to the time of day and weather conditions. She was fascinated with the variety of colors and textures that greeted her each day. Mary became acquainted with various spots within the perimeter of the park, hiking in with her easel to find interdunal lakes and ponds, forests, bogs and marshes that all give this area a surprising diversity. During her month at the Dunes, she painted many plein air paintings and became immersed in its changing landscapes discovering many inspiring themes. Click here to view an article about the program in the Northwest Indiana Times.

 

   
 

 

Aquinas Exhibit
Our Backyards: Journeys and Influences

In the month of September in 2007, Mary was asked to have a solo exhibit at Aquinas College, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her exhibit centered around her own backyard, which extended to the places that she traveled within that year, including Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Austin, Texas, New York City, and Japan. The exhibit included landscapes from all these places as experienced from out her windows.