Mary Graham has been a painter all her life. Born in NYC, her first career was as a stage designer and scenic artist before moving to New Hampshire to raise her family. She received her BFA in Painting from the NH Institute of Art, and since then, has worked full time in her studio in an old mill building when she is not outdoors collecting sketches.
Her oil landscapes have been exhibited extensively in gallery shows throughout the northeast, including the Salmagundi Club in New York, the Copley Society in Boston, and the Museum of the White Mountains in Plymouth NH. She was awarded the Alden Bryan Award for Traditional Landscape in 2012, and the Juror’s Choice award for the 2013 Armory Show Centennial at the Copley Society.
“Every landscape is an ideal body for a particular kind of spirit.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke
“I paint and draw the landscape, and wilderness particularly, to explore space and find meaning in the encounter with the “otherness” of nature. I am captivated and entranced by the ephemeral, transitory nature of all living things and the complex relationship between human culture and the natural world, and feel nature to be deeply inhabited, a living place embodied by living things in the changing cycles of life. Painting and drawing from nature, from life, helps me to establish an intimate relationship with my subject, initiating a dialogue between perception and inner experience. In my paintings, I seek to communicate the feelings I experience in nature, of solitude, awe, solace and transcendance.
A painting has the potential to be much more than a representation of visible reality, or the expression of a moment in time. In the shanshui tradition of Chinese landscape painting, the painted representation of appearances is of less importance than the transmission of a particular state of mind. It is this quality that I strive for in my paintings, to suggest a sense of the passage of time and the spirit of a place. The paintings become sanctuaries for these experiences.”