Mary Gow, San Francisco Member Since March 2012 Artist Statement I believe Art heals and what we look and hang on our walls influence what (and who) we become. When I lived in New York City - on my walk from class at the Art Students League to my job. I'd often duck into the Museum of Modern Art to be refreshed by Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night."
I grew up in a mid-sized town in the South (recently voted as one of the five happiest places in the United States). I worked a lot at my parents' soul food cafe on the edge of the legendary Ledbetter Heights. In between work and school 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 for 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 and continued my art studies for many years to follow. The places I've studied include the Art Students League of NY, the School of Visual Arts in NY, the University of Texas at Austin, the Maine Photographic Workshops, and City College of San Francisco. I've been showing my work since 1988 and won a number of awards. Most popular has been "Emerging," "Enthusiasm," and "Sunrise."
Among my sources of inspiration, I'm drawn to the gestural lines and vibrant palette of Henri Matisse and the Fauvists, 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, the Graphic Arts Workshop, San Francisco Women Artists, ArtSpan, and the International Society of Experimental Artists.
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 expresses beyond words what is deep, wise, and heartfelt.
I hope you enjoy your life and 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