Anything painted directly, on the spot, always has a strength, a power, a lively touch that is lost in the studio. Your first impression is the right one. Stick to it and refuse to budge.
- Eugene Boudin
Nothing makes me so happy as to observe nature and to paint what I see.
- Henri Rousseau


Friday, July 23, 2010

Mary Sprague

Posted by Charley Parker at 10:10 am

Mary Sprague
Aside from the human figure, trees are some of the natural forms artists find most interesting, and they have been drawn and painted in a myriad ways.

St Louis artist Mary Sprague creates ink drawings, sometimes in colors, often monochromatic, in which delicate sprays of line and hatching coalesce to create her tree forms.

When seen at the scale at which her work is reproduced on her website, her groupings of short but flowing lines, and the way she applies them in textural passages, give her drawings some of the feeling of softness and delicacy characteristic of etchings.

I suspect, given the scale of her previous work, that these drawings are relatively large, and some of the feeling of the line comes from the relationship of the size of her drawing tools ot the size of the composition.

In her online galleries you will also find older work with different subject matter. In particular a previous series centered on large scale ink drawings of chickens. These are occasionally worked in color with brush and either watercolor or colored inks.

You will find more of her work at the Duane Reed Gallery. There is an article about her from the March/April 2007 issue of Stanford Magazine.

4 comments for Mary Sprague »

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  1. Comment by Karen
    Saturday, July 24, 2010 @ 12:42 am

    Hello There, I only recently discovered your blog, but love it unimaginably so. Thank you for presenting so many amazing artists, Karen

  2. Comment by Mary
    Saturday, July 24, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

    Hi, Charley,
    Someone who had seen your blog just contacted me to find out some technical information.
    So I checked you out and was pleasantly surprised.
    You might like to know that the chicken drawings were 6 – 7 feet tall and the tree drawings are all quite little. Sort of an inverse relationship that suggests seeing outside the web might still be of further use for knowing things. Thanks for the plug.

  3. Comment by Lane Meyers
    Monday, July 26, 2010 @ 5:32 pm

    i can’t begin to describe how much I love the artwork of Mary Sprague. But I will try, as my favorite medium is pen and ink…and I will make it brief.

    Music visualized.

    The songs of the trees.

    I love everything avian, so yes, chickens are giants in my eyes.

    thank you Charley, for this post.

  4. Comment by Anthony Karl Harris
    Tuesday, July 27, 2010 @ 9:16 pm

    Strange. This is the second post about Mary’s work I’ve read in under a week. Her balance between super amounts of detail and minimal lines are perfect. Going to check out more on her site right now.

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