Mary began her “auspicious” painting career at the age of 3… helping her fine artist father and teacher gesso his canvases — “As you can imagine, I got more gesso on me than on his canvases….” smiles Mary. She studied at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art taking weekend drawing, illustration, and painting classes throughout her early years. She lived and studied overseas in France and Austria while in college as a major in language and communications. “I fell passionately in love with language after a trip to Paris when I was 14. I was fascinated by how people communicated differently. I was gobsmacked by all the cultures as I traveled across France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Italy. I was so caught up in absorbing all of it, that art became a dim memory.”
Returning to the US, Mary entered the business world, eventually moving to California and working for Apple Computer in marketing and branding. She continued a successful career in high tech for 35 years, getting married along the way and inheriting a family. But her fast-paced career burned her out, and in her recovery time, she rediscovered her love of creating art. “I had always loved pastels, but they were so primitive when I was young, so I worked mainly in watercolor. What a surprise and delight it was to find the variety of pastel brands and surfaces back in the early ’00s. I fell in love again and began studying with local artists.” Influenced by Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Cassat, Morisot, John Singer Sargent, the California Colorist Society, as well as modern pastellists Teresa Saia, Richard McKinley, Richard McDaniel, Kim Lordier, Gail Sibley, and Jeanne Rosier Smith, she continues to develop her skills and style.
Mary’s seascapes show her sense of wonder at the beauty of the Monterey Bay and other locations along the California Coast. Her landscapes are rampant with mountains, streams, and the flora of the different seasons. Her foreign landscapes are whimsical portrayals of doorways, cafés, gardens, and of course — the ocean and mountains. As a colorist and impressionist-style painter, she focuses on helping the viewer experience what is happening in that painting with all the viewer’s senses. Most of her collectors say her paintings help them return to a special memory and experience it once again.
Although Mary works in oil and watercolor as well as pastel, to her no medium is as expressive and vibrant. Pastel is her “go-to”, and it’s not unusual to find her covered in pastel dust while she wrestles with the wind for her easel and pastel box while painting en plein air. Having lived by the Monterey Bay for more than 30 years, she recently moved to North Carolina. “It was time to return to the East Coast and have fun exploring all the wonders that are here.”
Mary served on the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz’s board of directors for two years, and was a member of the Santa Cruz Art League. She’s a former member of the Pastel Society of the West Coast. Today, she’s a member of The Artisans / Stepping Up for Arts and serves on its Steering Committee. She is excited that the Coastal Carolina Painters to which she belongs, will hopefully join the Pastel Society of North Carolina. She looks forward to serving and helping this community of wonderful artists.
click on the thumbnail pictures below to see the full painting