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Shooting Gallery Exclusive Interview: Mary Iverson

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Seattle-based painter Mary Iverson will be exhibiting her new solo show ‘Calamity’ at Shooting Gallery from February 11th to March 3rd, 2012. That means the opening is this Saturday so make sure to clear your schedule and join us from 7-11pm! RSVP here and take a look below to discover the inspiring details of Iverson’s work.

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Have you always had a concise theme to your art or did you play around with different subject matter in the beginning?

I began focusing on shipping-related subjects in 1999. Before that, I was painting urban landscapes; my favorite subjects were kitsch architecture and any building that was facing demolition.

You’ve stated that Bierstadt has had a big influence on your work. What other artists have impacted your painting style?

I am inspired by Frank Stella’s early paintings, where he measured stripes inward from the borders of his canvas with a two-by-four. I love that he made rules for himself. One of my rules is that any measurement line must be extended to the edges of the canvas, even if it goes over top of an object.

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Many of your paintings are based off views from national parks. Do you do a lot of hiking and camping? Any favorite spots?

I am inspired and sustained by time spent out-of-doors, which my brother calls the “Church of the Blue Dome.” I have a Eurovan camper that I frequently take to the State and National parks in Washington. One of my favorite spots to camp is Pearrygin Lake State Park. I only go there in late October when it’s quiet, just before it closes for the winter. Any earlier and it’s mobbed with waterskiers and jet skis. From Pearrygin, it’s easy to get to hikes in the North Cascades National Park (my “Lake Ann” painting is from a trip to that area).

What is one place you have not traveled to yet that you would love to paint?

Yosemite is on the top of my list.

What does your studio at home look like? What items are most prevalent in your studio, besides paint, of course.

I have several rulers, straight edges, and triangles around my studio as well as heaps of wilderness magazines and nature books that I get from second hand stores. Another key item is my comfy couch, positioned for painting viewing, which my dog Yellow appreciates, too.

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Your work tackles the very real issue of losing nature to the sprawl of industry. What is the main idea you hope your work brings to the minds of your viewers?

There is an environmental cost to industry and development. We need to do more to protect undeveloped lands.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

In response to my oil paintings, before I’ve scratched any lines, I sometimes hear, “please don’t ruin this one; it’s so beautiful just the way it is.” That tells me they get the message.

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In your artist statement for the show you mention a bill (HR 1581) being pushed in congress, that would allow millions of acres of protected nature to be used for development. Are any of your paintings drawn from those expanses of land?

Lake Ann (of “Lake Ann with Containers) is in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, which does not have wilderness protection status. It could be vulnerable if HE 1581 passes. Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is adjacent to the North Cascades National park.

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1 Comment so far

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