Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mary Shelley - American folk artist

From the archives of All things Ironing - An iron in pine and acrylics.

Mary's art works are entirely carved in white pine, painted with acrylics and each piece is unique and original.

Mary says about her self on her web page that she is untaught and untrained as a visual artist, but has learned a number of useful skills by building her own house and during her work in the trades as a sign painter and carpenter.

Mary Shelley -  A carving of a lady ironing from 2003

Mary's artwork has been described as primitive, traditional, untrained, Americana, whimsical, naive, eccentric, outsider, visionary or carved craft.

In Mary's words, she is best known for carved folk art paintings of waitresses, diners, animals, cows, farms, sailboats, central New York regional themes, and special order commissions.

Mary Michael Shelley - An American folk artist

Like so many artists that are unstoppably driven to express them selves, Mary uses art to explore and make sense of life events, dreams and emotions, sometimes calling her artwork a "picture diary" or "picture story".
According to Mary's website, since 1974 Mary has completed approximately 1500 carved and painted wood pictures. For fourteen of those years supplementing her art income by working as a sign painter and carpenter.
Since 1990 Mary has worked as a psychotherapist, and thus, in her words, "You might notice a focus in my work on people - their faces, suffering, hopes, endurance and beauty."

You can find Mary carving every summer Saturday at the Ithaca Farmers' Market.