W-WAC guests enjoy tour and demonstration in Bay artist's home studio

A landscape sketch on white paper.

Thanks to sponsorship from the Nordson Corporation for an educational event with the Westlake-Westshore Arts Council, 24 participants were able to attend a Saturday afternoon in Bay Village with artist Mary Deutschman. Following a cordial welcome in her home studio overlooking the shore of Lake Erie, Mary led a tour throughout the house. She and her husband helped in its design to assure views from every angle with expansive windows and multiple screened porches to enjoy summer breezes off the lake.

Mary’s paintings enliven each living space with color and vibrancy. At each group of paintings, Mary explained the source of her inspiration, the painting process, color choices and ultimate outcome, freely answering questions. The “Jazz Room,” or the living room with music-themed paintings, colorfully and acoustically seems to vibrate through those silent paintings. Mary freely shared her philosophy on life, painting and the arts, sharing many wonderful lifelong insights through her love of art.

Upon returning to her studio painting area where wonderful northern light beautifully fills the space, at two standing easels, using a black marker, Mary with great ease did sketches on paper of a landscape composition from a photograph. One of the sketches was then scanned into Adobe Photoshop which she used for color exploration.

When content with color development, Mary returned to her two easels. One had a canvas primed in white, the other a canvas primed in red to allow for enhancement of complementary colors and mood differences. She held her paint brush handle more than halfway back between her thumb and first finger. Again, with loose linear strokes using thinned pigment, she set in the landscape composition on each canvas. Mary emphasized the importance of design structure when developing the composition, stating “the early sketch helps to establish that.”

She laid in dark areas first. Frequently, she moved away from the canvas to study the balance of darks, shapes and strokes. She emphasized the use of “very” individual strokes. She recommended practicing the mixing of colors, “mix dark, mix light.” And, “always, step away from your painting.” Beginning with thin pigment, Mary gradually builds up color.

Mary hoped that those who attended this event left feeling, “It is not what you paint but how you paint it. You should allow your personality to show in your paintings rather than thinking they should look like someone else’s art. Find your own style.” When asked about her favorite subjects, Mary responded, “landscape, jazz, markets, cafes and still life.” 

Participant response forms overwhelmingly rated the event as a 10. Two responses had a hand-written 12 and an 11. W-WAC is most grateful to Nordson Corporation support for this event and is looking forward to the planning of a newly acquired Educational Event Sponsorship from Jenkins Funeral Chapel.


Marge Widmar and Patt Long

Westlake Resident; President, Westlake-Westshore Arts Council

Read More on Arts & Entertainment
Volume 5, Issue 14, Posted 9:50 AM, 07.09.2013