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Mary Silverwood

 (1932 - 2011)
Mary Silverwood was active/lived in California, New Mexico.  Mary Silverwood is known for Landscape, figure painting.

Mary Silverwood

Biography from the Archives of askART

Biography photo for Mary Silverwood
Landscape painter Mary Silverwood was born on July 17, 1932 in Bryan, Texas and had lived in California from age 31,  but later moved to New Mexico, where she passed on December 15, 2011 in Belen, New Mexico.

In her own words:
"After decades of painting the golden hills, redwoods, fir and pine of Sonoma County, California, I was ready to find some new motifs.  A visit to New Mexico in the late 1980s offered everything I was looking for, and I returned every year, finally moving here with the new millennium.  I find the high-desert landscape endlessly fascinating.  The great configurations of mountains, arroyos, mesas, ravines and compacted vegetation against the azure sky are powerful, and I have drawn strength from them.  

Composition and color are the most important aspects of my paintings.  I have hundreds of pastel sticks in my studio, and just the colors alone are enough to get me started on a painting. I draw upon the shades and tones of nature, but I like to exaggerate them, dramatizing the emotional exuberance that the landscape conveys to me.  Pastels are especially responsive, they allow me to work quickly on black paper, moving from darks to lights as I go.

Although representational, my paintings are grounded in the abstract elements of art.  Values, textures, scale, line, positive and negative shapes, unity and variety are critical to the success of my paintings.  I particularly enjoy using shadows and highlights to create interesting patterns on both the two-dimensional surface of the painting, as well as in the illusion of spatial recession.

I don't consider myself a sentimental person, and yet to convey the landscape to others, I must inject into the colors and designs my feelings and my response to what I see.  That takes the image beyond decoration or a mere "reproduction" of an object or landscape and turns it into an idea that flows from the brain and the heart
. ---Mary Silverwood

University of Texas, Austin, TX, Bachelor of Fine Arts
Sonoma State University, CA, and University of Texas, Austin, TX, post graduate studies in teaching, Teaching Certificate 1967

Selected by the editors as the cover for The Pastel Journal 2009 Calendar
Selected to participate in the Art in the Embassies 2007 Landscapes of the American West Exhibition
Selected by the editors as the featured artist for the 2005 Enchanting New Mexico calendar published by New Mexico Magazine
Four paintings purchased by the State of New Mexico, Art in Public Places, 2004 Acclaimed Artists’ Series
Artist of the Year, Sonoma State University, CA, including cover art for class catalogs, 1995

Museum Exhibitions:
Miniatures and More, The Albuquerque Museum, 2010, 2004, 2003, 2002
So Q, Contemporary Art in Southern NM, Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, 2004
Originals, Traces of the Journey, sponsored by New Mexico Chapter of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, The Albuquerque Museum, 2003

Group Exhibitions:
2011   18 Days, Munoz Waxman Gallery, Center for Contemporary Arts, Santa Fe, NM
2006   A Tribute to 10, Joyce Robins Gallery, Santa Fe
2005   At Home in the Sun, Joyce Robins Gallery, Santa Fe
2004   Salon, An Exhibition by Gallery Artists, Joyce Robins Gallery, Santa Fe
2003   Palette, Joyce Robins Gallery, Santa Fe
2002   Italia, Joyce Robins Gallery, Santa Fe
2001   Small Works, Joyce Robins Gallery, Santa Fe
1998-2001   A Show with Heart, Joyce Robins Gallery Santa Fe
1994   Sonoma County Women’s Art Festival, CA
1990   Vision Sonoma, juried art exhibition, Burbank Center for the Arts, CA

Selected Collections:
State of New Mexico
US Congress First District Art Collection, Napa, CA
Humana Hospital Suburban, Louisville, KY
Kaiser Hospitals, Santa Rosa, CA
Kaiser Hospitals, San Rafael, CA
FHP Inc., Salt Lake City, UT
F + W Publications, Inc., Cincinnati, OH
Paradise Ridge Winery, Santa Rosa, CA
Matanzas Winery, Santa Rosa, CA

Authored Books:
The Art of Seeing and Visual Expression, Bold Palette Press, Belen, 2004

Books & Catalogs:
Landscapes of the American West, Art in Embassies Exhibition Catalog, U.S. Embassy, Belmopan, Belize, 2007

Landscapes of New Mexico by Suzan Campbell & Suzanne Deats, Fresco Fine Art Publications, Albuquerque, 2006

Originals, Traces of the Journey, Albuquerque Museum of Art, New Mexico Chapter of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 2003

New Mexico Magazine, “Paintings of the Land of Enchantment,” Featured Artist, August 2010
New Mexico Business Weekly, Book of Business Lists 2010, Featured Artist, p 76
THE Magazine, “Critical Reflections: Contrast in Color” by Erin Smith, August 2008, p 81
Southwest Art, Best of the West, July 2008 pp 8, 22
Santa Fean, Artists and Exhibitions, June/July 2008, p 85
Southwest Art, Best of the West, July 2007, p 72
Santa Fean, Artists and Exhibitions, July 2007, p 59
Santa Fe/North , Opening Exhibits, July 20, 2007, p S4
Western Art Collector, “Colors in Contrast” by the Editor, June 2008, pp 132-135
The Pastel Journal, “The Thrill of Color” by Anne Hevener, May/June 2008, pp 44-49
Albuquerque Tribune, The Arts & Entertainment, editor T.B. Mobley-Martinez, Jan 25, 2007 C1
American Art Collector, “Destination Santa Fe,” June 2006, pp 174-175
Santa Fean, Artists & Exhibitions, September 2005, p 74
Valencia County News-Bulletin, “New Mexico’s color, shapes enchant Rio Communities artist” by Jane Moorman, December 29, 2004
Santa Fean, Artists & Exhibitions, October 2004
Santa Fe/North, Openings, October 8, 2004
Albuquerque Journal, Openings, October 2004
New Mexico Magazine, “Mary Silverwood’s Colorful Vision” by Gussie Fauntleroy, September 2004, pp 65-67
Albuquerque Tribune, Calendar, June 18, 2004
Southwest Art, “On the Waterfront” by Richard Mahler, October 2003, p 114
Santa Fe New Mexican Pasatiempo, “Mixed Media” by Paul Weideman, August 2003
Albuquerque Journal, “Possibilities” by Editors, August 2003, p 1
Santa Fean, Openings & Exhibitions, August 2003
Journal Santa Fe, “Veteran Artist Still as Vibrant as Her NM Landscapes” by Dottie Indyke, September 20, 2002
Crosswinds Weekly, “Septuagenarian Celebration” by Sharon Kayne, September 19-26, 2002
Santa Fe New Mexican, Pasatiempo, “Colors of the Southwest” by Robert Nott, September 20, 2002
Southwest Art, Best of the West, September 2002, p 74
Santa Fean, Openings & Exhibitions, September 2002, p 72
Valencia County News-Bulletin, “Belen Artist Mary Silverwood’s paintings on display at Santa Fe Gallery this week” August 22-23, 2001, 2B
The Pastel Journal, Cover Article, “Mary Silverwood” by Ruth Summer, September/October 2001
Santa Fe New Mexican, Pasatiempo, “A Bold Palette” by Robert Nott, August 10, 2001
Santa Fe/North, “Pastel Artist Can’t Picture Life without Road Trips” by Craig Sullivan, October 20, 2000
Valencia County News Bulletin, “California Artist Trades Sea Waves for Desertscapes” by Kathrine Saltzstein, October 18-19, 2000
Sonoma West Times and News, “Mary Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” by Gaye LeBaron, August 17, 2000
La Vida Arts & Leisure, “California Artist Trades Sea Waves for Desertscapes” by Katherine Saltzstein, October 18-19, 2000
Santa Fe New Mexican, Pasatiempo, “Comings and Goings”, October 15-21, 1999, p 64
Santa Fean, Openings and Exhibitioins, May 1999
Southwest Art, “A Bold Palette” by Bonnie Gangelhoff, May 1999
Cultural Arts Council of Sonoma County, “In the Studio of Mary Silverwood”, June 26, 1999
Santa Fe New Mexican, Pasatiempo, “Mary Silverwood Pastels were a Turning Point” by Craig Smith, October 16, 1998
The Press Democrate, cover story “Silverwood settles into serenity” by Meg McConahey, April 5, 1998
Santa Fe New Mexican, Pasatiempo, “Taking Delight in the Most Vivid, Vibrant Colors” by Gussie Fauntleroy, October 17, 1997
Santa Fean, Openings and Exhibitions, October 1997
Sonoma State University, Cover of Catalogue of Courses, 1996 – 1998
The Good Life, cover story, “Mary Silverwood: A study in blue pastel” by Richard Paul Hinkle, Supplement to the Business Journal, June 26, 1995
The Press Democrat, “Mary Silverwood’s Pastel World” by Dan Taylor, June 27, 1993
The Press Democrat, “Pastels the present, future for Silverwood” by Tim Fish June 27, 1993
Sonoma State University, Cover of Extended Education Catalogue, 1993
The Press Democrat, “Southwest beckons pastel artist” by Tim Fish, 1992, p 02
Sonoma State University, Cover of Extended Education Catalogue, 1991
North Bay Scene, “Gallery Folio”, June 1990 p 27
America’s Musical Landscape, 2nd edition, by Jean Ferris, Book cover, Brown and Benchmark Publishing, 1990
The Press Democrat, “Art for the Pastel of It”, October 7, 1989

Sources include:

Biography from the Archives of askART
Biography photo for Mary Silverwood
Known for vibrant, impressionist pastel landscapes, Mary Silverwood paints what she sees and is not interested in elaborate metaphysical analysis of her work.

She has been a resident of California from age 31, having moved to Berkeley from Texas where she was raised in Fort Worth in a poor family during the Depression. In high school, she had an active interest in art and earned an art degree at the University of Texas in Austin.

In the 1960s, she found Berkeley quite overwhelming when she encountered the Abstract Expressionism of so many of the painters. Depressed and feeling inadequate with her own Realistic and Regionalist style, she quit painting for fifteen years and became a special education teacher and also turned to weaving, spinning and sewing.

Finally her great love of art came back, and she turned to pastels, painting in her spare time while teaching. By 1988, she was entering art shows, and her career was launched and she felt financially able to become a full-time artist.

She has made many painting excursions in the fall to New Mexico where she finds the landscape inspiring. She is a resident of Monte Rio in Sonoma County, California, overlooking the Russian River, and her loft studio is in her home.

A special exhibition of her work was held Fall, 1998 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Southwest Art, November, 1998

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About  Mary Silverwood

Born:  1932 - Bryan, Texas
Died:   2011 - Belen, New Mexico
Known for:  Landscape, figure painting