Artist of Month – Mary Clark

I loved to play around with art as a child/teen but shifted to science when I won a Westinghouse scholarship to Purdue. With a BS in Physics/Math in hand, I spent 40 years in the computer industry from programmer to systems person to databases to web design and graphics. 

The art was shelved as my jobs in the computer field demanded more of my time as well as raising a family. A few years before I retired, I graduated from the Botanical Art and Illustration Program at Denver Botanic Gardens. I continued doing botanical art until it became difficult for me to do detail work. A friend talked me into to taking classes at Park Hill Art Club. In my first class, we were to paint 10-12 paintings in a series. I choose to paint 12 shelter cats. The rest is history. I am an oil painter and paint primarily cats: whimsical, abstract, and realistic

I have a love affair with cats, from young to old, stray to domestic. I am drawn to a cat’s independent attitude and playfulness and work to capture those characteristics in my art.  My art explores and celebrates all cats – realistically, abstractly and whimsically. Cats present endless possibilities for artistic expression, from a thought-provoking portrait to silly, make-you-laugh-till-you-cry antics. It is the silliness that inspires my whimsical paintings, paintings that can make you smile. 

I like to have a painting “tell a story” A story can bring the viewer into the painting, ask questions, and perhaps see their own story in the art. My hope is that my paintings encourage people to see cats as having value, to be fun-loving companions and not throw away animals that we care for for a bit then give away or let out to fend on their own.

I belong to the Littleton Fine Arts Guild and often have my art shown at the Depot Art Gallery. I have had my art at Nixon’s Coffee Shop, Cake Crumbs Coffee Shop, and Park Hill Art Club shows. I have been juried into many shows including the Heritage Fine Arts Guild Shows, Paint Box Guild shows, Parker Art Guild and Louisville Art Club’s National Fine Arts Show. I also do commission paintings of cats, dogs, and other animals which you can see on my website: 

I have 4 shelter cats: 1 cat with no eyes age 5, 1 blind cat age 11 and 3 cats ages 15, and 18 – each a bit quirky. I am passionate about taking care of shelter cats; I volunteer in Behavior at Dumb Friends League, working with fearful cats, those who aren’t eating and those who are depressed in the hopes that they will become more adoptable. I also foster cats and kittens.