San Anselmo, CA. -Having retired in 1996 from a successful 20 year career at Fair Isaac, Mary Blake set out to do what she did best and that was to fill her time painting watercolors. In 1986, Mary started taking watercolor classes at UC Extension with Kay Russell to help take her mind off of her busy working schedule. Blake’s subject matter was more still life, but Blake wanted to be challenged and still lifes weren’t keeping her attention. As a longtime volunteer at San Rafael’s WildCare, Mary became increasingly interested in the birds and that’s where she first painted Vladimir, WildCare’s permanent resident Turkey Vulture, and Blake has been soaring ever since.
As Mary would say, “I get pulled into the detail of my subjects and can’t let go.” Mary’s watercolors are not your typical “delicate” watercolor paintings, but magnificently painted birds that have depth, color and passion. Mary works off photographs and spends hours detailing the soul of each bird she paints. Every brushstroke brings another layer of the animal that cannot be rendered in a photo. Blake remarks,” I like the sense of what watercolor is, the relationship of the brush and paper.”
Blake has been recently experimenting with a new form of watercolor. With traditional watercolors, the paint is put on the paper and the painting evolves. Blake’s new method is called “Erased”. In this process, the paper is treated beforehand with acrylic to make the paper non- absorbent. Blake then squeezes “gobs” of paint on the paper, and lifts off the areas of the image that she wants white. The results are stunning. The subject matter seems to fly off the paper. Blake comments.”I believe I've created a unique watercolor process that helps me show how I feel wild life blend into and emerge from their backgrounds.”
Mary is a member of the National Watercolor Society, California Watercolor Association, the San Anselmo Arts Council and a member of Artisans, a local artists’ co-operative.
Marin Coffee Roasters is located at 546 San Anselmo Ave- San Anselmo, CA. 94960
The show runs through August 9
About San Anselmo Arts Commission
The goal of the Commission is to add to the cultural character of Ross Valley through any form of artistic expression. Our objectives include providing a structure to facilitate the creation of art in all disciplines in the community, promoting and exhibiting art and cultural works produced by Ross Valley artists, and promoting art education in the community.
For more information go to www.sananselmoarts.com
Contact Ervin Grinberg at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information