Isn’t it amazing how artists can capture whatever they see and depict it in a style that’s uniquely their own? Seeing something turned into art provides a different insight, an alternate perspective, that we may never have thought of before. This is what we experience when we look at Mary’s art: we see nature in a newer light and even more beautifully than before!
We hope you like our interview with our third creative for this series, Mary Richmond!
How long have you been doing art? When did you “officially” get started?
I never started "officially" since I've always drawn and written and messed around with paints.
Your Instagram profile says you're an amateur naturalist and a lot of your works are depictions of nature. Was it nature that inspired you to pursue art? Or was it incorporating nature to your art that helped you appreciate it more?
As an art student I went from drawing very realistically to very abstractly and then over the years found my way back to depicting the natural scenes and wildlife that I have always loved. As a child I wanted to become a biologist or an artist. Art won because it didn't have any dissection requirements. LOL, true story.
We’re glad Mary chose art—sorry biologists—because we get to see and enjoy nature through her works! From various landscapes to plants, birds and sketches of the Corgi, Arlo (he’s a cutie), creating something meaningful and beautiful out of what’s already pretty allows us to appreciate all these things more.
For anyone encountering you for the first time, can you describe your art?
I guess I would say it is accessible, which is my goal. As a nature writer and educator it has always been my goal to bring in everyone, no matter what their background.
“We can all appreciate art and make art, no matter what our background or experience is.”
We love to see this! We feel the same way about art in any form: it’s not meant to be enjoyed by a limited few!
When did you realize this was something you wanted to do?
I've just always done it.
Did you go to art school or study art professionally? If not, how did you teach yourself?
I was very fortunate to have wonderful art teachers all through school but especially in high school. Our town had an amazing art program in all schools. I went on to study painting at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and received my BFA there.
Do you have a “day job”? Or are you a full-time artist?
I have always been a freelance artist, writer, and educator, especially in the natural history field.
How do you find inspiration?
I walk out my door.
Inspiration can be very particular for certain people but in order to find out, you’ve got to walk out your door and experience the world. See it for yourself.
What’s your typical day like whenever you’re in the middle of completing a piece of art?
I rarely spend a lot of time on a piece. I work quickly and on the spot. Many days I just carry my sketchbook around with me and sketch when I feel like it.
Field Journal Refill
What materials did you start with? What materials are you using now?
I've always been drawn to ink and watercolor.
Who are your favorite artists?
Way too many to pick only a few. Back in the day I was inspired by Andrew Wyeth's spot on drawings and rendered paintings but then moved on to become a Helen Frankenthaler fan. Today I am drawn to works by Wolf Kahn but honestly, I am inspired by art all the time—different styles, different cultural influences, they all grab me.
We love how limitless Mary’s inspiration is! The more we’re open to anything and everything, the wider our reach and the more we have access to things that can inspire us.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists out there who want to make a living out of their creative talents?
I say just go for it. Be you. Be aware you may have to supplement your income because making a living with art can be tough and dependent on outside forces such as the overall economy and perceived trends by collectors, etc.
“Be true to yourself. It's not an easy path but it is a very satisfying one. I've always been grateful to have had the support of my family, friends, and community all along the way.”
Really practical advice and very useful. If you’re really passionate about art like Mary and have support from the people around you, then it’s possible for you to pursue art yourself! If this is really what you want, don’t hold back!
See more of Mary’s art through her Instagram account here. You can also check out her website!