Abstracts 2018

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In these most recent watercolours we see the effect of Mary’s return to the medium after a long period of painting exclusively in oils and which, like the oils, spontaneously emerged as abstracts. The initial idea, expressed in the form of a tiny pencil sketch, may come from a rock formation or other shape in Nature, from an accidental play of light on something around the house, or just from sitting meditatively with pencil in hand to see what appears. Once the watercolour paper (usually Arches 640gm.) is prepared and the colours selected, the painting is allowed to evolve as the spirit and the natural flow of watercolour dictates. Often Mary starts the painting with the darkest part as the focal point, harking back to her early Chinese training, which is reflected also in her continued use of large Chinese brushes. Space is an essential component of the composition; present in the form of pale luminous flows of colour or of the untouched white paper and in the layering of successive, broken, transparent washes.