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A Mary Russell still life is a melding of influences. The effect of studying with still life master David Leffel and the influence of Vermeer are notable. Mary was born in Aurora, Illinois. At the age of 33, Russell found herself a single parent with all the inherent fears and insecurities that accompany this change of events, so her thoughts went to her first love, art, and the realization that “it’s now or never.”
In regard to her manner of working, Mary prefers the rigidity of board to the bounce of canvas. Her board is an untempered piece of masonite that is prepared with several coats of Gesso, then sanded in between layers. In the Old Masters tradition, she works thin to thick, and dark to light. The finished result is that of a masterful contemporary painting.
Mary is a member of the Pastel Society of America (PSA) and the Oil Painters of America (OPA), both prestigious art organizations. Her resume includes many awards and gallery exhibitions:
Salon International 2003 – Second Place
Pastel Society of America, National Arts Club, Manhattan
Oil Painters of America, Gamblin Award of Excellence
Morris & Whiteside Galleries, Hilton Head
M.A. Doran, Tulsa
Gilcrease Museum: Rendezvous, Invitational Demonstrating Artist; Annual Miniature Show
Whistlepick Galleries, Fredericksburg, Annual Christmas Show
Hayden Hayes, The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs
Her publications include a feature article in American Artist magazine and she will be featured in the upcoming August 2006 issue of American Arts Collector. Mary was also selected as an exemplary artist, providing tips and instructions in the recent international publication entitled “How Did You Paint That?” – a “how to” book with tips and instructions for still lifes and florals.
mary russell original art