I’ve been an artist most of my life beginning at the age of 7 under the tutelage of renowned New York painter Elinore Schnurr who has been my mentor ever since.
I attended the University of Rhode Island on a music scholarship and earned my spending money as a portrait artist. I even once painted a VW bus for a local band. Shortly after graduating I became co-owner of award winning Scituate Potters in Rhode Island where I also worked as designer, potter and instructor.
In the 1980’s I moved to the Rhode Island coast and began painting landscapes of Narragansett Bay and surrounding beaches. At this time, I also designed a line of sculptural jewelry that incorporated pottery, fabric and semi-precious stones into broaches, pins and hats vibrant with impressionistic colors and heirloom mementos. These pieces have been displayed and sold in galleries in Manhattan, San Francisco and Rhode Island.
In recent years my landscape paintings have expanded with my travels to the Adirondacks, Maui, northern California and the deserts of Arizona. I recently moved to western North Carolina and have found tremendous inspiration in the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
I have continued the successful portrait painting business that I started in college having now completed more than 50 commissions. Besides more traditional work I also do ‘vacation portraits’ of people in their favorite escapes as well as pets. I’ve also produced a portrait themed series of paintings which I call ‘The Ladies’ based on ancestral photographs.
I’m pleased to say that my work has been displayed and sold in numerous juried shows, winning a fair share of critical acclaim and praise. I feel fortunate that my portraits and landscapes now hang in homes and boardrooms around the country.
Mary Lou's website