Enjoy the gorgeous portfolio of Mary Grden celebrating the Greek Isles. Find out more about this talented artist by visiting her website.
Oil painting is to me much like writing is to an author. Once the paint is put to the canvas, many more than one can enjoy.
As a self-taught oil painter it can be a long road to that feeling “you have arrived” with your art. One of the most important trials for me was learning to sketch. I bought a book, “Learning How to Draw on the Right Side of the Brain.” The general concept is to invert or turn your subject upside down and sketch on the canvas within a grid. It didn’t take long and I was sketching right side up. Soon I was sketching and drawing looking straight at my subject. It was my passion for painting that allowed me to learn what I did not know.
Mixing all of my color is the first stage of a painting, including the values of each. Fine tuning the values is what creates the shadows for the side of a building to oppose the front and tells us if the sun is to rise or set. Perspective is enhanced by color values as well and allows us to see the realistic view of an open window or door, winding paths, steps, water and so much more. Composition is everything.
The measure of success is the love or the passion you have for what you do. I never thought about money when I went to a show or took pieces into a gallery. At my first show, I went with a borrowed tent and easels. I didn’t think I would sell anything, but was fascinated by knowing people were actually interested in my art.
Many of my works depict the Greek Islands of Mykonos and Santorini. After traveling there I fell in love with the architecture and people. I am currently working on two new ones. Venice, Italy, boats and water subjects are also a favorite of mine. Commissioned work is rewarding; being able to create through someone else’s eye.
The wood used for my canvas framing is made from a hard wood such as Oak, Poplar or Ash and is milled for me to a beveled edge. I chop, router and join the frames and then stretch the canvas over and around to the back.
For my art the beveled effect seems essential to all of the subjects I paint and for the viewer, it never goes unnoticed. The painting of the canvas on the curve of the bevel, with the horizon line intact, is definitely different, but the corners are the secret in stretching the canvas.
Producing my prints is dictated by the size of my printer, which is a mid-range, formatted printer. It prints archival, watercolor paper and canvas prints. Knowing what your art is worth is so very important and for some, I think, intimidating. I tested the market, listened and learned.
I was given this gift as my passion, to grow with and enjoy, and I do.