Mary has been attending weekly classes at Putney School of Art for several years in drawing and painting, etching and printmaking. She paints mainly in oils, and likes to develop some images further into an etching. In other cases, she is inspired to create an etching directly.
Mary is very interested in how people connect with each other and with nature, for example, enjoying the autumn winds on Pewley Down, or playing together on the beach with the waves. In her etchings of a sunset, and a summer’s day by a pond, she aims to show how the interplay of light and dark resonates with us when experiencing beauty in nature. Her work can sometimes take on a dreamlike quality, as in the photo-etching, ‘Dreaming of Flying’.
In ‘Kite Fever at Pewley Down’ Mary explores changing the tonality in the image to give a sense of excitement, and to allow the colours to breathe in new ways.
‘Song of a Skylark’, is a response to the poem, ‘To a Skylark’, by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Mary uses the technique of impasto painting to convey the emotional intensity of the poem. The first four stanzas give a graphic description of what it is like to hear a skylark singing, and the mystery of hearing this beautiful sound when the bird is often hidden from view.
Excerpt from “To a Skylark” by Perce Bysshe Shelley
“Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from Heaven, or near it
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire:
The deep blue thou wingest,
And singest still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.
In the golden lightning
Of the sunken sun,
O’er which clouds are bright’ning,
Thou dost float and run;
Like an unbodied joy whose race has just began.
The pale purple even
Melts around thy flight;
Like a star of Heaven,
In the broad day-light
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight…”