Mary Gow, San Francisco Member Since March 2012 Artist Statement I grew up loving hand writing, calligraphy, photography, painting, fashion, and architecture. Back then, LIFE magazine came every week and featured exquisite photography. In the fourth grade, I remember being awed by the paintings of Leonardo da Vinci, El Greco, and Thomas Gainsborough.
My early love of handwriting and calligraphy continue - as you can probably see in my work. As a kid I enjoyed collage so much I collaged the walls, ceiling, and even my garbage can! I started sewing at age 10 and made my clothes (from patterns) that I'd wear to school.
In one of my first fine art classes in college, my instructor praised me for my abstract drawings and urged me to leave Louisiana and go elsewhere to study art. I eventually followed her advice studied art in New York City (and other places).
I've been showing my work since 1988 and have sold work as an independent photographer and fine artist. Collectors reside on both coasts of the United States and several states in between. I've been a member of the American Society of Media Photographers, San Francisco Bay Area Press Photographers Association, Pacific Art League, Capital City Scribes, the Graphic Arts Workshop, San Francisco Women Artists, ArtSpan, and the International Society of Experimental Artists.
Have you ever looked at a painting or photograph and it literally made you feel better? I believe in the healing quality of art and the power of imagery to encourage wellness, vibrance, and peace. I also believe what we look at every day influences what we become.
Among my many sources of inspiration, I'm drawn to the gestural lines and vibrant pinks and blue greens of Henri Matisse and the Fauvist movement, the chromatic intensity of the early work of Wassily Kandinsky, the mystery of Man Ray's photograms, and the expressive grit of Vincent Van Gogh.
Matisse wrote in 1908 in an article printed on December 25, 1908 by the Grande Review: "What I dream of is an art of balance, purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter. I want my work to be soothing, so that the exhausted, overworked and stressed spectator finds rest and calm in it.”
I believe art is a sublime medium that can express beyond words what is deep, wise, and heartfelt.
Here's what some people have said about my work:
“The colors in your abstract work are so vivid and alive – and then the black and white. Just lovely. Haunting. (Even the photographs tend towards the abstract: much tension there between a recognizable 'image' and our perception of the “purity” of lines and related spaces). It’s as if another consciousness were pulling at us as we look at the world.” – Jack Foley, Poet/Performer/Writer and Host of KPFA 94.1 FM’s “Cover to Cover” 3 PM (Pacific Time) on Wednesdays, in San Francisco
"Your work is beautiful!" - Leslie Katz, Arts Editor, San Francisco Examiner
-"THANKS SO MUCH for this gorgeous splash of beauty on my wall! I came home and immediately on entering, it burst into my vision and would not let me go -- just as it did at your showing; and now i get to drink it in umpteen times a day." -Lisa Dollar, Founder of the Lysistrada Project
I hope you enjoy your life and what you surround yourself with, Mary