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Work Samples

View from Watters Meeting

Oil on linen, 18" x 24", 2019

Red Run-in Shed

Oil on canvas panel, 11" x 14", 2019

Beach Watch

Oil on linen panel, 10" x 16", 2019


Open bite etching with aquatint and chine collé, 10" x 18", 2019


About Mary

Baltimore County

Mary Swann's picture
For years, for all of my adult life, I have been painting outdoors in rural places. Participating in this way with uncluttered landscapes, I feel a deep connection with the natural world. While painting I surrender to what is there, I lose my SELF, and have to trust that what I have learned in art school and other places will provide what is needed to make a painting. Beforehand, I pick a spot that speaks to me, then set myself up with tools and a enough of a strategy (keep rain off the palette, angle... more

Stones & Waterways in Southwestern Nova Scotia, 2019

These are paintings I made last summer while spending a couple of weeks around East Sable River in Southwestern Nova Scotia. Many of them are featured in my 2020 calendar. The spots are ones I have painted since 1998, but the results are always different, not only on account of tides and weather but also on account of whom I am with, what I have had for lunch, and the painters whose work I have been looking at.

Inside Views of Northern Baltimore & Harford Counties

This past summer, the summer of 2019, I decided to paint some regular, old-fashioned landscapes. This meant finding long and wide views, with big skies, and painting with a big brush from good vantage points. The underpaintings were done in odd colors, like cinnabar green, in order to make the surface colors of the paintings glow and convey a sensation of depth and heated air. I was invited to work in a fascinating valley in Harford County, a treasure trove of just such views, and I returned to paint or just gaze many times during the months of July and August.

Closer to home. later in the year, I waited and waited for the leaves and colors to change. It took a long time, but they finally did. I got in a few smallish paintings as the landscape became bare and before it was too cold.

Summer 2018

This was a summer when I meant to concentrate on blue skies and green that really looked green in the summer fields. I wanted to apply the paint in a different way, not so much with a brush, and I used scraps of card board to wipe it on or scratch into it to suggest details like trunks and foliage and sticking up blades of grass.

Nova Scotia Coastline 2018

In many of the Nova Scotia paintings I did this summer, I continued to work with a piece of cardbord and to make the most of the linen texture that broke up the surface of the paintings that were done on linen panels. I enjoyed this effect, and made a point of eliminating as much representational detail from the image as possible. The paintings on regular stretched canvas do not end up with this look.

Monotypes 2018

These monotypes were an experiment using at least 2 plates and masking out areas of the first plate, printing it, then printing a second plate on top of it. In the masked areas the pure colors on the second plate to show up while in other areas the overlapping colors create a whole new color. The second plate can be masked as well--that is, kept free of ink in selected areas. This way when it is printed on top of the print made by the first plate, the colors in those masked areas pick up the original pure colors from the first plate.

Nova Scotia Paintings

This goup of late summer paintings done for my 2017 calendar proved a challenge to produce as the weather was not so favorable to being outside. The air was cool and vaporous, often threatening rain, and I traveled a lot up and down the coast (weather varies from one peninsula to the next) in search of spots where it looked like the showers might hold off for a couple more hours.

Layered Etchings

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