Not until I studied botany and viewed flower structures under magnifying glasses and microscopes did I really appreciate their magnificence. As a life-long gardener I looked at and created landscapes, matching groups of plants to be seen from a distance, blending distant views of overall colors and shapes. Matching seasons and cultivation needs, heights and spreads contributing to the designs I created in gardens and on canvas in my landscape paintings.
A rainbow of colors in a friend’s May garden. Photo by Mary Ahern.
But that aha moment of peering dramatically close to the parts of a flower opened a whole new world of vision and contemplation for me.
By painting my flowers overly large and entirely out of scale from the real world, I try to bring that same sense of awe to my viewers. Show them something of what I see. I try to create for them their own aha moment of joy and wonder to take on their journey.
In my late summer garden this dramatic combination of colors occurs when the daylillies bloom amongst the rudbeckia. The cultivar name is Frans Hals daylily so how could I not fall in love with it given my Dutch heritage. The rudbeckia is the classic variety named Rudbeckia fulgida and multiplies happily in this garden setting.
I composed this painting in a classical pyramidal style for the daylilies then using the receding rudbeckia to open the space towards the background of trees and shrubs serving as a horizontal and vertical balance.
Frans Hals Daylilies with Rudbeckia 24×36″ Mixed Media on Canvas.
“THE WORK OF FOUR EXTRAORDINARY ARTISTS EACH ONE FOCUSING ON THE UNIQUE AND VARIED WAYS THAT COLOR LIVES IN OUR LIVES”
– William Grabowski – Curator
March 26 – June 17, 2013 Art-trium Gallery. 25 Melville Park Rd, Melville NY 11747
Friday, April 5, 2013. 5:30 – 7:00 pm With music performance by Sally Shorrock and Friends
This Show is Sponsored by the Huntington Arts Council
SOME OF THE MIXED MEDIA PAINTINGS ON VIEW by the Artist, Mary Ahern
“Light Blue Iris in the Garden”
I grew these delightful light blue Iris germanica in my garden one year but they sadly haven’t come back with such beauty since. Iris borers and not enough sun perhaps. I solve this ephemeral behavior by painting the flowers from my garden. No pesticides, no fungicides, no weeding, no deadheading. They are in perfect condition all year round.
“Lilies in the Garden”
As a gardener and an Artist I’ve been able to combine both of these passions.Though my garden has been featured on various Garden Tours, I guarantee that it doesn’t look as good as the fantasy garden in this painting.
“Siberian Iris Trio”
A small patch of these Siberian Irises were in the garden when I bought my home in 1989. They are short lived during the season but very long lived over the years.
“Daylilies and Rudbeckia”
I paired this combination of flowers on my canvas for the their jovial and robust colors. Noticing their form, color and bloom time I transplanted them to create a seasonal vignette in my late summer garden as well.
“Conversation Piece Azalea”
These multi-colored flowers all bloom on the same shrub in my garden collection. Another nice thing about this cultivar is that it blooms a bit later than other Azaleas, thereby extended the colorful season.
MY ART BLOG
I wrote an article on my Art Blog recently describing how subconsciously I was influenced by the famous Matisse painting, “The Dance.”
Studying Art History for decades seeps into your creative mind and emerges in ways that you don’t expect. Though I majored in Art in college, it’s the years of continuing pursuit that really make the subtle and not so subtle differences in an Artist’s work.
MY ARTIST STATEMENT
My Art is driven by the pursuit of multiple passions. In my garden I grow the delicate & ephemeral models which are the subjects of my paintings. I transform them through a complex series of digital technologies and traditional mediums.
I have a degree in horticulture, a degree in Fine Arts and my entire career has been spent in Digital Imaging technologies. These are the tools I use to create my Art.
Creating and reinventing my gardens larger than life size demonstrates the profound importance they play in my own personal centering.
My paintings actually start in my garden. This is where I grow the flowers, shrubs and trees, which are a part of the workflow of my creative output. The sun and shade play a role in all my compositions.
I actually consider the creative work to be seamless whether at work in the garden or at work in my studios. The up close and personal view of the flowers when I’m weeding, deadheading, trimming and tending allow me the time to become intimately aware of each flower’s details. This is something I like to convey in my work.
Light Blue Iris Germanica
These light blue irises came to dance in the breezes in the front garden, which I can see through the French doors in my living room. Though short lived, their ephemeral character is part of the fun of capturing them in my Art.
Phlox stolonifera, ‘Sherwood Purple’ in front of a Karume azalea in the woodland walks.
The composition of this painting was created using elements from different areas of my garden. The woodland walks with their large hemlock trunks for the vertical accents, which mimic the verticals of the irises. The rare spots of sunshine in the front garden, which hold the irises and many other perennial sun lovers, give me many sources of inspiration during the seasons.
Daylilies and Rudbeckia, a Mixed Media painting by the Artist, Mary Ahern.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mary Ahern Invited To Exhibit Her Art by the Huntington Arts Council
Northport, NY. – February 24, 2013
Mary Ahern, the Northport Garden Artist, has been invited by the Huntington Arts Council to display her Mixed Media paintings in the show titled, “Living Color”. These bold & bright, large-scale paintings are interpretations of the gardens she tends surrounding her studio on Long Island.
Mary Ahern, who has shown her work and been collected extensively on Long Island and many surrounding States, is pleased to have been invited by the Huntington Arts Council to participate in the “Living Color” show. Ahern states, “The title of this show perfectly describes my own large colorful floral portraits. It is a perfect fit.”
The Huntington Arts Council show will be held in the Art-trium in Melville, Long Island, NY. This spacious setting is ideal for Ahern’s large-scale powerful statements.
The show will be held at the Art-rium Gallery at 25 Melville Park Rd., Melville NY. Her Fine Art will be on view from March 26 – June 17, 2013.
Meet the Artist at the opening reception, which will be held on Friday, April 5, 2013 from 5:30-7pm.
The 57th Annual Art League of LI Member’s Exhibition is
November 11 through November 25, 2012
11-4pm each day
The Art League is located at 107 East Deer Park Rd. in Dix Hills NY 11746
Tom Stacey is the Coordinator of the show and can be reached at 631-462-5400
The ALLI website is www.artileagueli.org
The piece that I’ve submitted for the show is “Passion Flowers with Bamboo”.
“Passion Flowers with Bamboo” a Mixed Media Painting by the Artist, Mary Ahern
This painting is a Mixed Media piece created using digital and acrylic painting. The finished work is a 20×24″ gallery wrapped canvas with a 1/5″ depth. The purchase price is $549.
The original models for this work were some Passifloracaerulea commonly known as Blue Passion Flower. I grew them in my deck planters where they entwined themselves on a craftsman style trellis on the sunny outside wall of my home.
The bamboo is also from my garden and is Fargesia robusta ‘Green Screen’. It is a clump forming bamboo and is said to reach a height of 12-15 ‘ but it hasn’t done so in my garden so far. I have it planted on a berm just behind a Japanese maple. For a further description of this Fargesia check out www.bamboogarden.com.