Block title

Work Samples

Oldtime Milking Parlor

Oil on linen, 20" x 28", 2021


Oil on linen, 14" x 18", 2021

A Wilder Love III

First love outshines The morning light But not the wilder love Within a Winter night. Reduction Block Print, 9" x 7 7/8", 2021


Reduction Block Print, 4" x 6", 2021


About Mary

Baltimore County

Mary Swann's picture
A second year of sheltering in place has kept me close to home and thinking small but playful, as I spent much of this summer preparing for a major show in one of the new galleries in Manor Mill in Monkton. The Mill is a gorgeous, light-filled space, now that its massive beams and staircases have been cleaned and polished up to frame and show off whatever artistic contents happen to be on display. The forty odd windows are all new, but the glass is wavy and old. The plaster walls have been pointed and... more


Around Valentine's Day, I set out to make a wintry, but very warm, block print all about the Heart of Winter. This idea and rudimentary art form kept me busy for many months, eventually leading on into some iconic summer images.

The rubbery speedo blocks I used, along with the uneven coverage of the water soluble inks, resulted in a lovely interplay of colors underneath with colors on the surface. I didn't mind if the registration was not perfect. I enjoyed the painterly effect. It became what I was after. Now I am looking forward to more experiments with reduction block printing, to making larger images and seeing what happens on a sturdier matrix. 

Seasonal Paintings 2021

These are mostly small, quick, and shaggy outdoor paintings, attempting to capture some effects of  afternoon light and moving air. Most were done at the end of a long day spent on other things.

Gathering Geese

March is a big month for geese where I live, and these monotypes were what I worked on during the first six weeks of Covid-19 Quarantine. They started out with a foundation of intaglio but soon they were being made just of cutout shapes of geese, multiple overlapping stencils, and layers of colors applied in varying ways and arranged in a vertical, scroll-like format. 

Tantric Collection

This is an ongoing  series of monotypes inspired by sacred tantric paintings made by "tantrikas",  painters in Rajasthan, India, and collected in a book called "Tantric Song ". Thinking about them, meditating on the reproduced original, and making them--one segueing naturally into yet another--has been an oddly joyful experience in this strange time of separation and turmoil.

Palimpsest Series

These are monotypes in the Tantric mode but with fugitive layers beneath the surface, implying age and time and previous incarnations

Vistas, Views and Vases

These are assorted Maryland landscapes from this summer and last, along with several summery still lifes.

Glimpses of Maryland

I wanted to paint these landscapes in a different way, not so much with a brush, but with scraps of card board, rags and palette knives. I liked being able to wipe thick colors over the surface and scrape or scratch it to suggest details like trunks and foliage and sticking-up blades of grass. 

Along the coast in southwestern Nova Scotia

In the late summer, I paint along the southwest coast of Nova Scotia. The air can be cool and vaporous, threatening rain or more fog, but often you see everywhere the bluest of blues. 

Waterways and Harbors in southwestern Nova Scotia

It was not possible to go to Nova Scotia this year. These are paintings of marshes, waterways, and harbors from other recent years.