Mary Jo Zorad, Olympia,WA Member Since November 2006 Artist Statement I was born during the summer months in Indiana. This was my family's home for the first five years of my life. A wooded place where children had no worries and played outside through all the seasons. A place where all the neighbors new each other and talked regularly. At an early age I spent most of my time outside exploring and viewing nature.
I was barely five years old when my family made the choice to move to the West Coast, the suburbs of Los Angeles, CA. My exploration of nature continued with almost daily outside excursions in the neighborhood, which continues today. It is here where I began to draw, went to school and learned about the creativity of life.
Art was natural to me...it was part of my genetic makeup. My family and neighbors encouraged my artistic talents. (I was recently contacted by one of my childhood friends who remembered my art hanging on the wall and he new then I would be a painter.) It was in High School that I had my first art showing. Nothing sold then but the acknowledgment I received from the art patrons encouraged me onward and my painting continued.
After High school I took a path diverged from fine art and I studied the behavioral sciences, both psychology (art therapy and history) and religious studies. It was a deep interest of mine to find out what motivated people to behave the way they did in life. Why were some creative and happy while others seemed unhappy and self-destructive? During these years of studies I never stopped my creative expression. I expanded it to include poetry, music and photography. I published a few of my poems and gave away most of my paintings to friends young and old.
I was never far away from my true calling of creative expression. I am fortunate now to realize my expression and passion for art and make a living with this creativity. . It is the expression of life and nature surrounding me that I seek to portray. I paint what I see and feel in my soul.
I now live in Olympia Washington, a wonderland of nature and landscape scenery. I venture outside almost every day with my dogs to explore nature just as I did as a young child. I continue to find these excursions enlivening and spiritually inspiring. I usually have a camera and document the seasons and occasionally the wildlife. I have encountered bear, dear, coyote and the plentiful hopping rabbits. I have observed cougar tracks in the mud and snow. And watched the wildflower seasons come and go.