Who is Mary Vernon?
Mary Vernon is a writer, an illustrator, an educator, an artist and most importantly, a dreamer. She created her first painting at the young age of 8 or 9. She says, “…I borrowed two tubes of oil paint from a set owned by my friend Sally. The lovely marks that the paint made on a big stick seemed to me the most solid and physical thing I had ever seen – at the same time a sticky mess and very beautiful. For many years I made paintings that were never as good as that.”
Everyone is inspired by something when they create artwork, usually. Mary Vernon’s inspiration are the tools that she consistently uses for her paintings. Vernon says, “I want to see what the materials will be willing to make, what natural marks I can recognize as lovely. I want to cooperate with the materials to let them make some kind of meaning.”
2017 marks Mary Vernon’s 50th year of teaching at Southern Methodist University (SMU) where she has served as a Professor of Art History and Studio Art, for which she has received numerous awards and honors.
Mary’s Work at the Valley House
Vernon’s artwork has been displayed at the Valley House for the past 15 years. Some of her artwork is currently displayed at Valley House and on their site. Her artwork can bring about feelings to each person that views it. Her artwork can also inspire you all in different ways. To Vernon, the inspiration for her artwork displayed was a connection between painting and drawing. She says, “The works in the show at Valley House come from concerns I have followed for a long time: the connection between painting and drawing, the landscapes that I have memorized by seeing them carefully, and the meanings that will arise from materials almost by themselves.”
Vernon is still doing what she loves best, painting. She says her dream project is to “live longer and paint bigger.” Again, you can visit Mary’s current artwork at the Valley House Gallery and Sculpture Garden. You can also see some of her other works on her website.