Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Artist Feature: Mary Hughes

Mary Hughes
Artist Feature

Having studied fine art and painting in both the US and France, our featured artist, Mary Hughes, has a diversified and stylistic approach to abstract painting.  Drawing much of her inspiration from previous travels, her images are representational of the distinct characteristics and emotions that she experienced during integral moments of her journeys.  

On a recent trip to Ireland, Hughes was fascinated with the hand-laid rock walls that divided the sprawling hills and pastures of the landscape.   She was able to translate the essence of the rock walls into abstract paintings of linear forms and shapes.  The layering of paint symbolized the layers of history of which the rock walls represented.  Each stone had the presence of human life and the labor and placement of each stone was a primary accessory to the cohesive composition of the landscape.  

“The sense of history contained in these walls caught my imagination and I found myself “building” walls in paint.”

The transition of lines and shapes moving across the canvas interpret the rock walls linear organization of the Irish countryside.  The linear translation represents the passing of time, flattened.
As Mary has moved forward in her painting career, her works stray from the literal translation of natures elements and evolve into her own organic free flowing forms and patterns.  However, she still draws some motivation from interesting and unrefined patterns from her surrounding environment.   She interprets the movement of flowing streams and the growth of tree branches into abstract shapes, lines and patterns that convey images of direction. 

“The paintings are now more abstract and less uniform while retaining reference to their original inspiration. Formal issues are explored through unexpected color juxtapositions, repetition and transparency that retain a link to the natural world. “

Mary first joined the Copley Society of Art in April of 2007.  A resident of Boston, Mary received a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Boston University and a MFA from Massachusetts College of Art.  She also studied and attended studio art and language courses at the Lacoste School of Art in France.   She currently serves as a faculty member of the Department of Visual Arts at Northeastern University, where she teaches a variety of courses including 2D Design and Drawing and Painting.  

Over her career history as a painter, Mary has been featured in a variety of articles and publications including: Art New England, The Boston Globe, The New Bedford Standard Times, and Fenway News.

Mary recently led the CoSo Circle's annual "So You Think You Can Paint?" event, at which a Copley artist member presents their work and then guides the participants in creating art of their own.