About the Artist
Although my name is Mary, my nickname is "Sis", My first love, starting in grade school, was drawing and painting. I remember taking paper and pencil to the woods at the age of five to draw things I saw and imagined. While in high school, I took private lessons and attended the Schneider School of Fine Arts in Ontario, Canada during the summer. Torn between art and nursing, I entered nursing school after high school, then went on to earn Masters Degrees in Education Leadership and in Adult and Technical Education. Nevertheless, I continued to draw and paint, taking advantage of private lessons and elective art courses throughout college, graduate school and beyond.
After careers as a nurse administrator in psychiatry, nursing home administrator, health care management consultant, and associate professor of technical and vocational education for West Virginia University Institute of Technology, I suffered a serious back injury that de-railed my working life. The blessing is that it spurred me to return to my first love; art. At first I painted for my own therapy, but with the encouragement of husband and special friends, I've plunged into the world of showing and selling my work. My work has appeared in numerous regional art shows, including Best of West Virginia at Tamarack, Beckley WV; Crosscurrents, Oglebay Institute, Wheeling, WV; Allied Artists of West Virginia, Parkersburg, WV', Steubenville Art Association Annual Regional Exhibitions, etc.
It is important for me to express the beauty and joy that can overcome darkness, that it is possible to find an oasis of peace in the midst of suffering and struggle. Art for me is a way to connect with others in a spiritual or emotional sense. My work is figurative, but never a photographic imitation, often borders on the surrealistic, or is outright surreslistic. The prettiest "pictures" that I paint can distract the viewer from meanings that express the juxtaposition of life's joy against the darker side. Art for some is used to express angst, futility or pain, but for me, it is used to mitigate the darker side. I seek to nurture ..."whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report .... " (Phillipians 4:8)
Working primarlily in oil and acrylic mediums, I prefer to use oil for portraits because it is more effective in achieving soft skin tones. Acrylic is my medium of choice and is used in most of my other work because of its versatility. I use color as expression and prefer clear images and sharp perspective to draw the eye into a piece. I want you to see what I see through my mind's eye, to ask the questions I ask about a subject, and to discover meanings and questions of your own.
(I am the author of the new book "In Jesus' Arms", available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo and other websites. It is the story of my trip to heaven the summer of 2015, and my reflections on that experience. Click on the facebook icon, above, for more information.)
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