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About Mary Jose's Oils

It was a visit by Mary Jose to the United States, to New England in the Fall, renowned for its flamboyant colours, which precipitated a long-contemplated change from watercolour to oil painting. The initial inspiration was landscape, but she quickly turned towards abstraction; a style which evolved spontaneously when she expressed herself honestly and with abandon. Oil painting has become a veritable passion; on the one hand for the paint itself, the colours, textures and the possibility of a whole range of effects from transparency to impasto, and on the other for the energy that comes from the expression of all the most significant elements of her life.

The early oils were mainly small and relied heavily on impasto knife-work. Here it was the delight in the material itself that was dominant. A sense of landscape was still evident in many works, but the abstract nature of forms revealed by light was more important than any specificity of place.

Later the paintings became larger as Mary began to discover that some of the transparency of watercolour could be expressed in oils, although the emotional impact of colour still dominated.

The Desert Series took her painting into another dimension. Mary has lived in and visited many of the desert countries of the world and during a period of four years she produced a set of over forty paintings. Each one was inspired, in the first instance, by a poem about the desert. Having immersed herself in the words of the poet she then allowed the feelings they inspired to fuse with her own very particular response to the desert before interpreting this on canvas.

The oils completed since the Desert Series show a continuation of the emphasis on light and the emotional impact of colour, with now an interplay of space and form demonstrating the enduring influence of the oriental spirit.