Recently I took an abstract realism workshop with a master painter. I had never done abstraction and but wanted to incorporate another style into my own paintings. For the first time in my long schooling career, which spans decades, I found that I was not doing the exact homework assignments. It felt somewhat naughty, I guess a throwback to childhood.
So much of what he was teaching reawakened in me the knowledge and experience I’d learned over 40 years ago in art school. It reminded me of the many lessons in color, value and saturation. Lessons in composition and layout. All the many lessons in technique. Conversations I’d had with myself but hadn’t heard out loud in too many decades.
When the workshop began, I’d been in the middle of an oil painting in my studio. Instead of doing the homework assignments, I began, at first unknowingly, to apply them to the painting already on my easel. I changed the composition of the piece. I altered my color selections to focus on the clarity of modern colors. I added attention to value plus the placement of cool pigments and warm pigments.
My painting began to take different turns, it zigged and zagged as new ideas and focus resurfaced in my brain. These switches in reference really stretched out the time it took to complete the painting. I began to think of Picasso’s transitional piece, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and how it took him forever to complete it and how clearly you can see the major transitions he made. My painting wasn’t even close to his level of redirection, but for me personally, it was as dramatic.
Usually, there is so much to learn and to relearn that it can’t be absorbed in the 8-week duration of these workshops. But this online program is available for access, practice and review for a year. It will take longer than that to truly grasp the many nuances of his teaching. Daily studio time will ultimately allow the lessons to flow in and around me until I am so accustomed to the process that I can roam freely and more widely on my own as I’ve done for years but now with a twist.
My Art Starts In The GardenPosted on by Mary Ahern
One of my accountability buddies had challenged me to do abstracts as a way of loosening up my paintings. Having been a digital artist for decades I’m used to being able to control my images right down to the pixel level. Also, since I studied and worked with Botanical Illustration for years, wearing magnifying lenses over my glasses, I tend to be tight and exacting. Since I normally paint and draw with much detail, she thought that maybe the abstracts would loosen up my style. That 15-minute sketches would encourage more freedom in my surfaces.
A 15-minute sketch of an energetic red dahlia.
After a few days of playing with various mediums and substrates, I truly began to enjoy myself with the freedom of not worrying about the lines and adjoining edges. So, of course, I bought 3 books on abstract painting to study what I should be doing. When I mentioned this to her, she threw her hands up into the sky, rolled her eyes and sighing deeply said that this was exactly what she wanted to avoid me doing. She wanted me to use the right side of my brain and experience the freedom, not my left & and bury myself into studying the experience.
I understand what she was suggesting. But didn’t she know that for me, the more books the better? Why watch 6 YouTube video tutorials when 15 might break the ice.
The more I played and the more I read I began to realize that my flower paintings are a type of abstract painting. Not all abstract painting is completely devoid of figurative imagery. My layering over layering, capitalizing on the mark-making beneath each, is my form of abstraction. Some paintings have more visible marks and some less. And some of my paintings show these marks more and some less so. But they all have them hidden underneath the many layers of pigments. It’s like a secret life.
Now let me tell you what happens when I paint. I start with the inspiration of a real flower, one that may or may not still be alive but one that I have taken numerous photos of, that I’ve grown and that I’m intimately familiar with at each stage of its growth. I sketch a few on paper with a pencil or charcoal, sometimes on my iPad using Procreate and sometimes on my Mac desktop using Photoshop or Painter. If I’m in the mood I make a full tonal drawing in one medium or another. Once I’m satisfied that I’ve got the idea of what I’d like to paint, I transfer my outline to canvas using either pastels or charcoal and begin to paint with the full intention of staying true to the flower, the shapes, and the colors.
But somewhere in the process of painting layer over layer, a change in control happens. My careful plans are put aside and I relinquish control of the process to the painting itself. At this point, the painting becomes an abstraction to me. It may not lose its form completely and may or may not still look somewhat like the original floral inspiration. But the intention has shifted. Sometimes the form itself changes, at times radically. At other times, the colors become abstracted, leading away from the original source.
There is a freedom that comes over me when this power shift occurs. When I’ve relinquished the power to the painting rather than maintaining dominance over the process is a source of freedom for me that I’ve had a difficult time defining or describing. But then again, I don’t even know what to call my style of painting.
Lately, I’ve come to find that some are calling this type of painting, Abstract Realism. That sounds as good to me as any other label, none of which I’ve ever felt comfortable with until recently stumbling upon this definition.
Labels or no labels, I’ll continue to explore, experiment, and push the boundaries while I decide into what niche my work actually resides. If any. It really doesn’t matter since I’ll just keep letting my paintings speak for themselves.
15-minute sketch of hydrangea petiolaris growing on my garage roof next to a dogwood tree in the fall.
My Art Starts In The GardenPosted on by Mary Ahern
Mary Ahern painting the red dahlia in her studio.
The most frequently asked question when I’m discussing my art is: How Long Did It Take You to Paint That? Well, it seems like an easy one to answer doesn’t it? But the problem is, I don’t know what they’re really asking since no matter what I answer they say, “Oh” in response. Here’s why it’s a confusing question.
I don’t know what that person really wants to know. Do they mean how many hours did it take me to paint it? Or how many days? Or weeks? Or months? I’ve tried asking them what their real question is but people don’t really know why they’re asking it. Is it a form of legitimacy? A value judgment on the quality of the work? Perhaps it is a question about fair pricing for the quantity of time allotted to the work.
I wonder if they’re asking me how many hours a day (a week, a month) do I work? Or is it how many hours a day (a week, a month) do I paint, which is different than how much I work at being an artist? I think the life of an artist is a mystery to most people. I think they’re trying to get a handle on what it takes to actually make a work of art.
If, when I answer, I mention that it takes time for me to search in my garden for inspiration, it doesn’t seem to register that this is part of the time I’m working. Let’s not even mention growing my plants which are the models for most of my work. And does the time count that I take to make the preliminary drawings and sketching on paper or screen that I do to create the composition? How about the time it takes to transfer that sketch to the surface I’ll be painting upon, which lately is the canvas. Not until then does the actual painting begin. Does all that prep time count into “How long did it take you to paint that?”.
So, it seems by people’s reactions that all the preliminary work doesn’t count. What seems to only count is the time I’ve spent putting brush to canvas.
My last painting took me 8 months to complete. This timeframe did not count growing the plant, the photography, sketching the composition and the transfer to canvas. I’m a procedural painter so I actually have a timeline in my notes I keep of each painting. I list the day, the number of hours I worked and a line or so of what I worked on during that session. The notes ended on the day I signed the completed artwork.
But did it really take me 8 months to paint that particular Red Dahlia? I began the work in the dead of winter but was interrupted when spring arrived, and the garden demanded my attention. Generally, I can’t paint after I’ve worked in the garden since the small motor skills required for me to paint are too exhausted by the effort. I would not be able to control my brushstrokes to my satisfaction if I tried to cram too much physical work in a day.
So 8 months is not really an accurate answer is it?
In my notes I can see that I worked on this particular painting in 41 sessions, meaning 41 different days during those 8 months. And not to be outdone with carefully tracking my work, I painted for a total of 151 hours by the time I painted the signature in the lower right corner.
I’m pretty sure that any of those answers, the number of months or the number of painting sessions or hours would receive the same “Oh” reply from the person asking me the question. An artist’s life and work are a great source of mystery to many people. And I respect that. Actually, I kind of like that. Being and working as an artist is often a mystery to me as well. There are many times I look at a painting from my past and think to myself, Gee, I wonder how long it took me to paint that? Sometimes I wish I knew. That’s one of the reasons I now keep notes.
Allotted time doesn’t define the quality of an artwork. Time does not ensure me of a successful outcome. My art takes as long as it takes to satisfy me. That’s really how long it takes for me to make a painting. I have to be satisfied with the artwork to put my signature on the work.
My Art Starts In The GardenPosted on by Mary Ahern
Joseph Raffael February 22, 1933 -July 12, 2021
One of my heroes died this week. Joseph Raffael was an artist who spoke and will always speak to my soul. We lived in different places. Lived different lives. Worked in different mediums. He was famous but left the NY art scene to live quietly in the south of France. I never made it big enough in NYC to have to leave it. But I live in the quiet town of Northport on the north shore of Long Island. We have each experienced different successes in our lives. A man, a woman, so different but so the same.
His own garden was his inspiration as mine to me. The whole garden and the individual flowers he grew there were his references. My garden too supplies me with the imagery and stories I create from. He worked in watercolors, me, not so much. Give me digital, give me a computer and stylus, give me my oil paints and I’ll paint you some flowers.
He studied with the greats. He went to Cooper Union and Yale School of Art. I went to the State University Queens College for art and the New York Botanical Garden for botanical illustration. He won a Fulbright fellowship & studied two years in Florence and Rome. I was a single parent painting when the kids went to sleep.
Every other year or so Joseph would have a solo show at the Nancy Hoffman Gallery in Chelsea that I would make a pilgrimage into Manhattan to see. I would find myself immersed into his world. Not just his garden, his flowers, but more importantly, his spirit, his thoughts, his beliefs. It was a spiritual journey I engaged with on those visits. His spirit resonated within me. I took my camera to the shows and from that I made videos to pay homage to him and his work. Perhaps you will understand if you watch them.
Joseph wrote books too. I have them and read them from time to time when I want a renewal. They are a touchstone to the thinking that he and I share. His words speak the thoughts residing in my mind. We both experienced deep and life-changing loss which turned us to search inward for answers to our questions.
Joseph and I never met in person but every single morning I wake up to his “Pink Peony” hanging on the wall opposite my pillow. He signed it to me with my name and with his. He appreciated what I had created for him. He wrote to me from France to thank me and the package arrived at my doorstep.
Joseph Raffael lives on in his paintings, his writings, his spirit, his very being. I do not mourn his passing, I celebrate that he lived!
“April” A pink peony by Joseph Raffael in my home.
My Art Starts In The GardenPosted on by Mary Ahern
Last week we had temperatures in the 30’s every day. The clocks changed and now it’s dark by 4:30 where I live. That may sound pretty grim but for me, it signals the opportunity to go into my studio to paint without the tugging and nagging feeling that I should be out in the garden, planting, weeding, pruning, and planning. Now, guilt-free I’m in my studio creating the paintings of the flowers from summer.
And guess what? Yesterday, today and for the next few days, the temperatures have returned to the 70’s. So the sunshine has seduced me back into the garden. Finally today I finished planting the 100 plus bulbs I bought on some wild spending spree a few weeks ago. The daffodils, the oriental, martagon lilies are in. The bearded iris have been planted in the little nooks and crannies where there is some sunshine. And all the five different kinds of alliums are finally in the ground.
Alliums, you may or may not know are onions, these are ornamental onions. Not the kind I cooked dinner with tonight. I made a new recipe with spanish onions, turkey sausages, grapes, cumin, vinegar, roasted potatoes, and some of the meager crop of tomatoes I grew from seed this year.
As I cut up the onions I thought about all their layer upon layers. Which led me to think about my paintings. I paint in layers. Layer upon layer of thin transparent paint. As the painting comes into existence it reminds me of my darkroom days and watching the photograph begin to arrive in the chemical baths. I tend to work all over the surface so the entire painting emerges pretty much at the same time.
My paintings are very much like me. Like you. Like everyone. We’re all layers upon layers of information, experience, emotion, and intellect. Interest and drive are hidden in there too. Hopes and dreams also come to mind. Many people don’t like to look below the first layer of who they are. I, on the other hand, dug deep into the bone marrow to find the core of what makes me tick. Then I covered it up so the rest of the world wouldn’t find it easily. Keeping that core wrapped in swaddling clothes held closely, is one of the mysteries I keep safe and protected from the seasons of change.
My Art Starts In The Garden
My Art Starts In The Garden: Musings on my Life as an Artist
My Art is inspired by the gardens surrounding my studio. There is a complexity to my work in both the spiritual and technical parts of my mind. Enjoy this meandering journey with me. The highs, the lows, inspiration, ideas, techniques and general musings about the complicated creative life of an Artist.
Throughout the year I spend time immersed in my garden in the warm summer sunshine and the deep winter snow. The myriad of colored petals, the exquisite architecture of a flower’s anatomy, the subtle shifts of green inspire me throughout the seasons.
Here’s me in my spring garden with the camellias in bloom that inspired the original painting that is behind me in an aluminum print. The aluminum hangs outdoors all year long whether the camellias are in bloom or not. You can buy them on my website here.
There are seasons I’m with my flowers in the garden and seasons where they enter my studio as inspirations for my paintings and drawings. Each art form is dependent on the other to continue my seasonal shifts of creation.
All winter I paint flowers. The bright happy flowers of my summer garden follow me into my studio and surround me with their joy and inspiration during the short dark days of winter. In my studio, they help me to wind down the hectic whirlwind of gardening in the bright sunshine.
But each year the same joy of being in my studio creating my Art begins to take a turn into claustrophobia when the daffodils spring forth with their joyous yellow heads as they entice me outdoors. It’s the beginning of the push and pull for me to be in my studio or to be in my garden. Both are my creative forces. Both get my creative juices flowing. Without either the other would be that much the poorer.
The balancing of time subsides somewhat in the mid-summer when the heat and humidity drive me back to the cooler breezes in my air-conditioned studio. Another burst of art flows from inside the walls during those hot weeks of August. When the humidity subsides the gardening resumes.
Inevitably when the nights begin to provide good sleeping weather, the transition from new expectations of growth in the garden turns instead to senescence and the decisions of what to preserve commences. Choices of what to overwinter, what must be sacrificed take precedence. Mulching, raking, clearing debris marks the bedding down of my outside work.
Then comes the time in the fall when the garden is put to sleep that the joyful season of painting and drawing begins again within the walls of my studio as I create my winter garden of work surrounded by my summer flowers.
My Art Starts In The GardenPosted on by Mary Ahern
I‘m that kind of gardener. The one who opens the windows to inhale the smell of the soil in the morning mist. A day isn’t complete unless I’ve walked the woodland paths, seen the changes however small, what has begun, what has passed its peak of perfection. Which plants are inviting their cohort of pollinators, the array of the birds and the bees? This is the half-acre of land I’ve designed, planted and tended for over 30 years. The soil is rich in abundance, helped by the leaves I shred each year.
The garden constantly evolves with each season and each year as do I. Fall is when I gather the leaves and branches to shred and place back into the garden to keep the beds warm and covered from the winter winds. There is a rhythm to the garden as there is a rhythm to life.
For years I’ve had this chipper, its large, heavy and gunmetal gray. When the machine roars into life in its loud and vicious voice you know it means business. I use this to make my own mulch. Gather my garden debris to enrich the soil and feed it into the maw of this machine. Chip my own branches for the pathways I walk and contemplate.
Once you put the cord to start the engine it drowns out the sounds of life around you. There is an urgency to feed the beast. I have my piles of leaves at hand to be shredded to shorten the duration of this violent machine and return again to the quiet contemplative space I crave. This is the stage to move fast to silence the din.
And then the blades jammed. The engine pushed and growled. The whole machine quivered trying to dislodge the offending object. The squeal of the engine roaring deafened me demanding a quick solution. I felt my heartbeat quicken. A frustration and impatience entered my being. A demand for a quick remedy.
So I removed the chute which served as the feeder to the blades. There I could see the chunk of wood jamming the metal and in my mindless haste I reached in with my hand to unblock the shredder.
The searing pain was beyond description. More than I’d ever experienced in my entire life. Beyond childbirth, beyond car accidents. Beyond anything my mind could process. And I was alone. No one to call out for. No one could hear me. I just let my arm hang limply by my side. And I refused to look down. Not prepared yet to see what I was left with from what I knew was a defining event of my life.
I leaned forward against the railing of my deck, my mind emptied of rational thought. No plan of action arrived. My logical brain inactive, devoid of anything other than the pain. It gripped me. Wrapped me wholly. I was enveloped with pain. Just the thumping, throbbing, pounding of pain.
Then I looked up. The trees were swaying gently with the wind in their long and pensive manner. The leaves, dressed in their fall colors. were wiggling and waving at me beckoning my attention. Beyond was a brilliant blue sky, the most beautiful blue I’d seen in my entire life and I’d seen many. The breeze caressed me. It was a moment of indelible beauty. My world came to a halt. My garden surrounded me with healing calmness. Caressed me with its fragrance, its life. I was bodyless.
Now I understand more of why I garden. It’s not for me to show my friends my great expertise. To flaunt the rare specimens I collect. To boast in my selection of flowers for color balance and seasonal flair that I am able to coax into being. My garden is not an ego trip.
This garden is threaded through with paths, to walk through, to discover, to immerse yourself. The journey around my garden is for enlightenment. The senses heightened by the wisp of nuance seen from the side of one’s eye. It’s in a subtle awareness of the healing that we gather from the earth. The wonder of how interwoven we are with the natural world surrounding us. The fact that we are just another component of an incomprehensible network of living beings. It is humbling.
And if we listen, the garden also teaches us to ponder, to meditate, to slow our heartbeat down to absorb life. It teaches us to travel inside our soul to seek our essence. Gardens are about optimism too. The grand possibilities of our future. What profound truths will reveal themselves? What miracle will the world visit upon us graciously?
Oh, by the way, I forgot to mention, my fingers were not shredded that day.
Long ago in the way back machine, I grew some sunflowers for my young sons. You know which ones, they’re the 8-foot tall ones that excite every kid. So on the day the flower was pitch-perfect, I pulled out my pastels and tried to capture its roundness, its color. And then it was time to light the barbecue and make dinner for the boys so I put away my pastels and paper while planning to finish the work the next day.
We enjoyed our burgers outside in the garden under the towering sunflowers that evening sitting at the picnic table with the soft summer breezes and called it a day. The next morning when I gathered my chalks and half worked drawing to complete the art don’t I discover that a squirrel had beaten me to the day’s work. The center seeds were chomped and mangled. This was my clarion call to the ephemeral.
I learned that day the garden doesn’t wait. The passing of time can be in a split minute. A flower has another calling and it’s not willing to wait for me until I’m ready. It, like me, has a busy life with other goals.
These are some of my earliest paintings hanging on the wall in my studio. The Sunflower pastel is a reminder of the ephemeral garden.
So I committed myself to capture the transient moments in my garden. The inspirations in form and color. The visions and details that escape us as we hurry through and around in our busy lives. The moments that don’t wait for us.
And then I realized that my garden not only shows me its secrets, it also tells me its mysteries. It whispers ideas into my head. But those ideas are also fleeting. They come to me but fly away on the breezes too quickly for me to grab. So I’ve begun writing. Each time the garden sends a story I write a note of it down. I capture it on my keyboard or quickly with a pencil. At times I even have to catch it so quickly when I’m immersed in the midst of my garden that I can’t run indoors quickly enough before I lose it so I speak it softly into my phone. I’m building a library of stories the garden is generously sharing with me. This is one of them.
Sunflowers With Purple Asters. Prints of this artwork are available in various sizes on canvas, fine art paper, acrylic and metal in my online Art Shop.
Since the 1970’s I’ve been a collector, an observer and a thinker about round things. Currently, my garden is enhanced by round thing presences. Spheres of all colors and sizes. Sculpture with round themes. Round trellises. Round gateways.
This moon gate entry to my woodland walkways is just one of the pieces throughout my garden which inspires my art. These themes of roundness have threaded throughout my work for decades.
On my deck are round finials on the tops of the banisters. And large round concrete containers spewing forth their colorful floral additions all summer.
I have reflective spheres so as you walk around the circular pathways in my garden you see yourself in a distorted and accentuated way. It’s good to see yourself when you least expect it. Then your mind views you more clearly. It sees how others may see you.
Why round things you ask? They are the feminine. The woman. The beginning. The Eve.
They are the mystery. No beginning and no end. The continuum.
Eve’s apple is the first sphere. It represents to me the essence of woman, the feeding, the nurturing, the sexuality, the sensuousness, the rounded birth belly.
With the apple Eve burst forth from the confinement of the “Garden of Eden”. The place made for her. To protect her but also to isolate her from life. The experiences. The experimentation. The adventure.
She broke free by pushing the boundaries. By saying that the world created for her was not enough. She found her way to burst forth and experience life. The sadness, the pain, the anguish, the tears, the disappointments, dashed dreams, hopes denied, the loss of loved ones, the curse of immortality.
Without which true happiness, peace and contentment could not be embraced.
My art is embedded with these meditations on life.
The OMNI Gallery show featured my round flower inspired oil paintings. This work is embedded with meditations.
In this video, I begin by showing you the photo of a flowering hibiscus from my own garden which was the inspiration for this artwork.
Here I write my thought process behind the stages visualized in the video.
In my initial stage I work out the composition of the final art work and deciding whether it will be a square or a rectangle.
To work out the details of lights and darks that will be in the final painting I like to start with a tonal drawing. Using an HB weight graphite pencil I use my customary swirling strokes to give form to the drawing. Not being partial to outlines I don’t emphasize them but soften the edges by merging them slightly with strokes.
In order to transfer the drawing to the canvas I used a mapped grid system. In this case, I put a transparent sheet of paper over the tonal drawing on which I’ve drawn a grid. After measuring the same grid on the canvas I was able to upsize the drawing onto the canvas. Using pastels I created an underdrawing of a neutral ochre color using the tonal drawing as my model, followed by a layer of neutral ochre oil paint which seals the surface of the gessoed canvas.
In the next stage, I applied thin coats of oil paints in layers recreating the original composition in the base colors allowing the underpainting to peak through. Many, many layers of thin glazes are applied to give dimension and form to the final painting.
Details are added during the later stages, I think of it as putting jewelry on after you get dressed to go to a party. You save the best for last.
Each day after if finish working on a painting in my studio I photograph it for reference and view the images on my computer to see the progress and decide if I want to make any changes along the way.
I prefer to work on thick gallery wrapped canvas and finish the work off with neutral floating frames. I aim for simplicity in form with exuberance and abundance in surface color. This painting has no visible brushstrokes which is also my preferred style of painting.
ChromaLuxe is the leader in aluminum for a variety of industries. The thick gauge of aluminum and the brilliance of their color matching makes for a perfect vehicle for my flower and garden prints.
I tested many brands from various vendors and ChromaLuxe proved to offer the superior product for my work. Prints of my original paintings have been hanging in my garden for over 5 years now. They have withstood winter snow and summer heat. I wouldn’t sell something I didn’t trust.
As an appreciation for my testing and our collaboration ChromaLuxe created and distributed a full-color brochure of my Artwork on their exterior grade aluminum.
My Art Starts In The GardenPosted on by Mary Ahern
Recently I had the honor to present my art and the meaning behind my thought process at Slide Slam. This event was sponsored by the Patchogue Arts Council and hosted by the Haven Gallery in Northport NY.
The presentation by the 20 selected Long Island artists was to display a slideshow of 15 images and speak for exactly 5 minutes each about the work. Such a daunting task proved to be an interesting challenge. How do you get to the essence of your work succinctly in such a short span of time?
Important for me was to convey how critical the garden is to my work. It is in fact the beginning of my creative workflow. In the garden I feel the power of the interconnectedness of all that surrounds me; the necessary ecological balance of the earth, climate, water and nutrients, that sustain the cycle of life.
The communities of birds, bees, insects and yes, humans to pollinate flowers with the assistance of the wind of course. This cooperation is the main critical component of maintaining not just my garden but our entire life here on earth as we know it. Without fertilization the cycle of life would die for all living things, not just for the loss of our beautiful garden flowers but for all our food sources as well.
To me, the garden is just a microcosm of the universe.
The vast beauty of color, fragrance and the architecture of each plant is created to seduce assistance in procreation. Each flower has evolved its own method for attracting exactly the pollinator they desire. Long tubes for hummingbirds, open centers for nice fat bumble bees. Certain colors are more visible to different insects than others. Fragrance signals an invitation to specific species that the time is right for fertilization. The Brugmansia is most fragrant in the late afternoon since it would rather have an energetic pollinator just arriving on their evening shift than a tired one at the end of it’s working day.
Working in and studying my own garden for the last 30 years has given me the unique opportunity to watch dynamic change occur. When my oak trees fell in Hurricane Sandy suddenly the types of plants that enjoyed their shade began to suffer from too much sun. I dug them up and moved them and their scorched leaves to where they would be more comfortable and replaced them with flowers that thrive in the drenching sun. Over time this would have happened naturally but I was able to speed up the process.
Each day in my garden I’m inspired by the energy of life. I carry this with me right into my studio where I allow that energy to inform my art.
My Art Starts In The GardenPosted on by Mary Ahern
Tired of the browns and grays and whites of winter? So am I!
I’m looking to get a jump on some brilliant color outside. I want to see color outside my windows, outside in my garden and outside on my deck. I’ll bet you are too.
Bright splashes of color greet me when the trees are bare and the shrubs covered with white snow. It is so cheery to see in the dead of winter. Seeing color reduces my stress. It probably does for you too. That’s why gardens are so relaxing.
ChromaLuxe exterior aluminum prints hang outside in my garden all year long popping color when I most need it.
During the spring and summer, I coordinate the color of my plantings with the colors in my art. It gives me a very creative palette of colors to work with. It adds to the fun of gardening.
I hang my aluminum art on the garage so I can see flowers all year from the windows in my home, I hang the art on my deck where we entertain and select art that color coordinates with my outdoor furniture. As a garden designer, I’ve designed woodland walks around my home and studio and even hang art on the trees for when people wander around on my garden tours.
I tried a lot of products outdoors in my own garden on Long Island in New York where we get snow and ice in the winter and lots of heat in the summer. I found that not all aluminum is created equal since much of it warped in the extreme temperatures. Then I tried the ChromaLuxe brand of exterior grade aluminum. I’ve tested these prints throughout all the seasons and they have flourished in my garden for years.
In my video, you can see some of the ways I’ve displayed my art in the garden and also the gardens of some of my happy customers. Take a look and be inspired.
Then have some fun. On my website I’ve introduced a separate category for the indoor/outdoor metal aluminum art with an augmented reality feature. Now you walk around your space with your mobile device and see how my art will look in your own setting. You can also try different sizes to see what will fit perfectly for you.
Seeing this live takes the stress out of deciding what artworks for you. It is the ultimate in customizing your own living spaces both indoor or out. Try it now. No commitment to purchase is needed to see for yourself. Go to my online shop, click on the metal print category, select an image that intrigues you, change the size, try a different print, try a different space. Enjoy yourself now!
315 West 39th St. Suite 508
New York, NY 10018
November 8 – December 4, 2018
On November 15, 2018 I was proud to be inducted into the National Association of Woment Artists, NAWA. I had submitted my portfolio, resume/CV, bio & artist’s statement for jurying into this historical organization that was founded in 1889 with a mission to create a greater opportunity for professional women artists in a male-dominated art world. Sadly, this situation still exists to this day. We are still in need of a gathering of strong and resiliant women to promote and support each other and ourselves.
The induction ceremony was held at the Rubin Museum on 17th St. in Manhattan New York City. Attending artists spoke about their work with passion.
Mary Ahern speaking about her art at the Rubin Museum Induction Ceremony of the National Associaton of Women Artists, NAWA.
Later that same day the Opening Reception of the New Members Show was held at the gallery of the NAWA on 39th St in NYC. The rooms were crowded with artists and guests. The artists had the opportunity to explain the ideas and inspiration behind their work on display.
Mary Ahern speaking at the opening reception for the New Members Show at the NAWA gallery in NYC. Mary Ahern is speaking about her work on display behind her, “Candy Wind Hibiscus”, a 20×20″ GW, Oil on canvas. $1,950.