Mary Jabens

The famous religious painter Carl Bloch was said to have dipped his paintbrush in his heart. As an artist, I relate to that statement because painting for me is a way to turn myself inside out and share what is there on canvas. Sometimes I see things that are so painfully beautiful that I can find no adequate words to describe them. My art has become a spiritual language where I can express myself without speaking. And hopefully those who view my paintings will feel what I am trying to say with no words passing between us. I have found that it is through visual imagery that I can best reveal my passions.

As an artist I am more interested in painting my emotional reaction to a subject than in creating a photorealistic rendering of it; consequently my paintings lean more to impressionism than realism. I tend to work in an abbreviated style where the suggestion is more important than the completed statement, and where the parts or details are sacrificed for the good of the whole. I’ve learned that the less I give away in my paintings, the more people seem to read in them.  To me, there is more poetry in an image when not every detail is spelled out and the viewer is allowed to solve some of the mystery.

I love to capture the abstract patterns of light and shadow in the subject as, paradoxically, I find this creates a more realistic image when viewed from a short distance. I generally paint things that I am close to, both in distance and in feeling. I am not about depicting vast expanses of nature, but rather of close, intimate corners of personal spaces. Any subject is game for my brush as long as it is beautifully lit. In truth, light is always the subject I find most exciting, as anything it touches is enhanced in depth, dimension, vibrance, and beauty. This is the spiritual implication art has for me.

I consider it the greatest of privileges to be an artist–to notice the grandeur in small things around me, to celebrate them on paper or canvas, and to share my passion for life though my artwork. 

I have always been an artist. For as long as I can remember I have loved creating art from crayons to oil paints. My passion is Plein Air painting. When I am painting everything ceases to exist except the process. The paintings I love the most “choose me”. Whether it’s a color, shape value or subject – something stops me and says paint this. The part I enjoy the most is transferring what is in my mind’s eye onto the canvas and relate it to the viewer.

Color is magic for me. I struggle sometime to keep it from exploding in the painting but yet resemble the subject I was attracted too. Most importantly, painting is a healing process for me. I have heard many artists say: Art heals me one picture at a time and this is true for me too. It gives an outlet to the negativity and replaces it with a feeling of goodness again.

View the finished piece:


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