Mary Reilly

Back to Artists

Led Zepplin, 2013
Graphite on paper
6 x 8 1/4 inches
Led Zepplin, 2013
Graphite on paper
6 x 8 1/4 inches

Mary Reilly



Since my early childhood, nature has had a profound affect on me in ways that I cherish. The state of mind that is instilled within me when walking through the woods, or on a secluded beach by the sights, the sounds, the smells, the sense of nostalgia, the timelessness and diversity of nature's splendor. The peaceful solitude I find there, the quiet introspection it affords me, and the sense of awe I feel from witnessing nature's determined perseverance against time, is so nurturing, uplifting and inspiring. When I draw these scenes and images of nature, all of those thoughts and feelings resurface within me, and I feel centered and peaceful. My intention in sharing my art work is the hope that these images affect the viewer in a similarly positive way.

For my subject matter, I try to find and emphasize the beauty of those locations and images in nature which are often beyond one's passing glance. I generally choose a place that I feel has a tranquil, isolated, and slightly mysterious quality to it as well. For me, working in graphite, using the techniques I've learned and have cultivated over the years, has been extremely gratifying. I tone my paper with up to eight layers of graphite before starting my drawing, taking the surface to a middle tone then pushing the darks and lifting the lights. This process creates subtle shifts in the tone that are in harmonious contrast with the sharpness of the minute details, helping me create a sensuality and a mood in each piece.

Having lived in New York City for more than 20 years, and after having found the natural oasis within the North Woods of Central Park, I decided to research and explore the other 4 boroughs. To my surprise, I discovered that there are beautiful ancient forests here, with magnificent old trees. There are winding rivers, streams, creeks and marshes, as well as, lakes and ponds, and miles of sand dune filled beaches. This work represents some of the natural beauty from the boroughs of New York City that too few get to appreciate. My sense, both emotionally and visually, of New York City's natural side is forever changed, and I hope my work changes your impressions too.

-Mary Reilly