Sunday, April 17, 2011

Student Spotlight - Women who art

For this weeks Student spotlight I take you on a field trip to the nature inspired landscapes of artist Mary Pat Harris as she overcomes her apprehension of painting water scenes.   Her highly detailed landscape paintings are a showcase for the exuberance of nature and a testament to her artistic development and  vision.


Her first water-scape, "Heron", was inspired by an image Mary Pat found in a magazine.  Her images tend to focus on the the lively colors and patterns created in our natural environments.  Recreating this energy and joy are what Mary Pat is continually striving for in her paintings.

In this particular piece she was able to capture the dynamism and movement of windblown marsh grass through her exploration of color and texture. 

A limited color palette of green, yellow, blue, and pink creates a vibrant and cohesive composition. Here Mary Pat depicts the reflective quality of pond water by adding tints of white to the same palette used on the marsh grass. 

Mary Pat's finished painting, given to her sister-in-law as a gift, is a joyful recreation of color, space and movement found in our waterside ecosystems.


The inspiration for her second water inspired painting, "Cape Charles", came from a photograph taken by Mary Pat.  The image, a view from her brother's new home looking out towards the bay, once again illustrates her enthusiasm for our natural surroundings.

"Cape Charles" proved to be a challenge championed by Mary Pat's desire to capture the natural light of the outdoors.  The idea of light being color helps her recreate a cloud covered sky and its reflective qualities on the water below.

The interplay of light and shadow, line and color, and ultimately the amazing design of the natural world proved to be a test of her newly discovered painting talent.

Working to confront these issues with diligence and friendly class critiques, Mary Pat ultimately conquered the scenic outdoor view of Cape Charles.

Mary Pat used paint to describe her brothers view in an impressionistic fashion, bringing it alive with a masterful use of light.  Given as a gift to her brother, this painting is a true demonstration of Mary Pats determination and of her growing development as an artist.  I continue to look on in amazement!

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