Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Remembering Harmonies: The Art of Mary Louise Dean

Mary Louise Dean, Rather Nebulous, 36 x 36", oil on canvas
In her previous life, Mary Louise Dean worked to distill a boatload of information into just enough material to fit on a single printed page. The resulting "essence" was handed off to The Creatives to work on PR and marketing.
    When Mary Louise retired, she returned to her home state of Kentucky, where she found a picturesque house in picturesque surroundings.  In this appropriate setting, Mary Louise rekindled the art flame that was smoldering through the years. She began painting the landscape just outside her windows. She joined the local plein air group and painted scenes all around the Central Kentucky environs. Mary Louise honed her skills with oil on canvas. Treks to New Mexico were sketched, images rendered.
Mary Louise Dean, Sky Shadows, 36 x 36", oil on canvas

  As she worked on her skill and her ability to distill the landscape, Mary Louise became increasingly aware of her personal vision. Working on large canvases (36 x 36") she began to paint from memory, letting her distinctly harmonious distillations shine through. Artist Edgar Degas said "It's all very well to copy what you see, but it is better to draw only what you see in memory. Then you reproduce only what has struck you, that is to say, the essentials..."* 
   Naturally, Mary Louise Dean has been practicing the distillation process for years. Now she has added the storytelling element. As Ms. Dean says herself: "My desire is to create art with the full illumination of all I know in the present moment--what I have learned, and what I have seen and what I know about myself...The a blend of landscape abstraction and my search for a greater connection with the world. These are memory paintings about beautiful places with an invitation to the viewer to recall his/her own experiences." The result is a brilliant celebration of harmony.

  I am very pleased that Mary Louise Dean's work will be on display with mine in our exhibit at MS Rezny Studio/Gallery through the month of March. I hope you will have the opportunity to experience her work.

Mary Louise Dean
Kathy Rees Johnson
MS Rezny Studio/Gallery, 903 Manchester Street, Distillery District, Lexington, KY
28 February - 31 March 2017
Reception on Gallery Hop Night: 17 March 2017
For more information:

*Shapiro, Barbara S. Edgar Degas: The Reluctant Impressionist. Boston: Exhibition catalog for the Museum of Fine Arts. Boston, 1974.