Mary Gow, San Francisco Member Since March 2012 Artist Statement I believe Art is sublime and can express beyond words what is deep, wise, and heartfelt. I believe Art heals and what we look at, what we hang on our walls, influences who we become. Art can call up faith, courage, and compassion. It's my mission to use the creative arts to inform and inspire.
I grew up in a mid-sized town in Louisiana. My parents worked constantly at their small business. Creative thinkers, they ran a soul food cafe. Being there opened my eyes (literally) at a very early age. The cafe was on the edge of a rough area (made known by a song by Kenny Wayne Shepherd called Ledbetter Heights). In between school and working, I loved making things, sewing, drawing, writing with my right or left hand, and taking pictures. I won my first art award at age ten in a school-wide drawing contest.
In one of my first art classes in college, my instructor praised me for my abstract drawings and urged me to leave Louisiana and go elsewhere to study art. Eventually I followed her advice.
After college while working my first big job at a major ad agency I took painting classes. I continued my art studies for many years to follow. I've studied at the Art Students League of NY, School of Visual Arts in NY, International Center of Photography in NY, University of Texas at Austin, Maine Photographic Workshops, and City College of San Francisco. There's probably a few places I've left out. I've been showing my work since 1988 and won a number of awards.
My most popular sellers with Imagekind have been "Emerging," "Enthusiasm," and "Sunrise."
Among my sources of inspiration, I'm drawn to the gestural lines and vibrant palette of the Fauvists (like Henri Matisse & Andre Derain), 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.
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 in Austin, San Francisco Graphic Arts Workshop, San Francisco Women Artists, ArtSpan, and the International Society of Experimental Artists.
"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.” -Henri Matisse, 1908
May you walk in beauty and enjoy what you surround yourself with.
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