Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

Egmont Surprise Notecards (6) - $15.00
Accessible only by boat, Egmont Key Lighthouse sits on Tampa Bay in Florida. Lighthouses are a vanishing breed.
4 1/4" x 5 1/2" on white card stock, blank inside, offered together with white envelopes size A2. There is a white 5/8" border around the image.

Dream on is aptly named, a tropical paradise of rich watercolor paintings with an impressionistic style and a somewhat surrealist twist. My very favorite of these paintings is the one above. It reminds me of when I used to go to Woods Hole Massachusetts during the summer as a child and see the sandy beaches and old fashioned lighthouses, their foghorns sounding in the distance. The pink flower in the foreground is a nice touch, and her use of color and texture is warm and inviting, capturing the essence of the location in a way which makes you feel like you’re there.

The artist, Mary Hamilton, a former business computer programmer and owner of a word processing and resume writing business first painted in oils, but after she tried watercolor, she much preferred it and acrylics and felt it challenged her in a way that oils never did.

Mary’s paintings are filled with images from Florida where she lives most of the year; the remaining months of which she lives in the mountains of Colorado.

I love Snowy Egrets. She captures the grace of these beautifully.

Egret With Attitude Note Cards (6) - $15.00
This particular group of birds lived in the Everglades.
4 1/4" x 5 1/2" on white card stock, blank inside, offered together with white envelopes size A2. There is a white 5/8" border around the image.
This painting below, mostly done in shades of orange and a mossy green has a beautiful glow to it, and the reflection of the sailboat in the water is rendered very well. I also love how she has made the sky transition into the horizon line, making the painting dreamy, yet still believeable. Also, notice the palm tree at the upper left of the sailboat with its leaves backlit by the setting sun!

Florida Visions Note Cards (6) - $15.00
Florida Visions, a set of six different notecards which are reproductions of my original watercolor paintings. There will be one of each card. Offered together in this set are birds, memories from beaches and the Everglades.

Mary’s process is very interesting in that she takes hundreds of photos and then compiles images from several within the same picture, for the fun ones her subject matter comes entirely from her imagination, and in others she uses live scenes to paint from.

She most enjoys painting the ones that come out of her imagination and finds that they paint themselves, but dislikes painting architectural things.“My paintings are not symbolic as a rule” she says, “but I have painted a few which are. I am a Christian, and know that everything I am and everything I do is because the Lord provided it to me and has chosen for it to be.”A few galleries, restaurants, and office buildings display her work, and she also enters art shows. Her most successful venue was a hotel where she had a few paintings. Located by the front door everything sold.

“As I continue to show, the prices tend to go up slowly on the more serious work. Artists struggle to find what is satisfying for them to paint vs. what sells. What sells much of the time, especially locally, is what is a deal for the buyer. Hence: starving artists. I read somewhere that only 10 percent of people buy original art. That's a really small market to split with many, many other competent artists, so my biggest successes would be my most recent sales at annual art shows that have been in existence for years and years, where I show and sell my best pieces.”

Mary’s most expensive piece ever sold was a watercolor, floral painting with deep red, gold and white poppies with deep shadows and lots of contrast.

Speaking about an artist she particularly admires, Mary becomes nostalgic. “I once took a workshop with Bridget Austin (from Wisconsin) who is an absolute master of negative painting (painting technique, not bad painting) that helped me sooooo much. I love her work, and if mine has been influenced by hers, then I'm honored. Negative painting refers to painting around an object instead of painting the object. For example if I were going to paint a tree on white paper, I would paint all around the tree with a light color (green maybe). What would remain would be a white tree. This can be done in multiple layers in a painting. The next layer I would paint around my white tree and a new tree with a darker color (perhaps brown). Then I would have a white tree and a light green tree surrounded by brown. Etc.”

Here her use of light and shadow is wonderful as well as her rendering of the clouds. Clouds are not easy to paint and she has managed to illustrate that type of lighting one finds sometimes at the beach which is somewhat ominous from one direction and at the same time, sun-drenched.

Gulf Shores note cards - $15.00
a reproduction of artists’ original watercolor painting with snow white sand dunes with sea oats gently blowing overlook the Gulf that is that special color. 6 cards on white cardstock and the folded size is 4 1/4" x 5 1/2" with a 5/8" white border around the image. White envelopes size A2 are provided for each card.

Note: The artist is offering an Etsy special for the holidays. Her greeting card packs will be marked down to $10.00 (from $15.00).

Here Kitty Kitty note cards - $15.00
“There is a shop in Holmes Beach, Florida, next to the Artists Guild Gallery, where there are birds in large cages out on the sidewalk in nice weather. Passersby talk to the birds. One of them says, "Here Kitty, Kitty" and also "Meow."

Mary's long-term goals are to be represented in one of the galleries on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, NM, and to be featured in Artist's Magazine.

To purchase these wonderful works of art as originals or prints, go to:
To learn more about the artist, read her blog;


Mary (DreamsAboutArt) said...

Pippit, thank you so much for your wonderful, in-depth article and the time it took to prepare it. It was fantastic!


ALilSumptinSumptin said...

Pippit, you've consistently produced the most interesting, thoughtful, well-written features that's so complimentary to each artist. Love reading your posts. Keep up the wonderful job! :o)