Twelve Questions with Mary Erickson


Helena Fox Fine Art is delighted to present Mary Erickson in her second solo exhibit at our gallery. Flying, Soaring, Hunting: The Art of Mary Erickson opens on December 6, 2019 with an artist talk and preview on December 5, 2019. Get to know Mary in her own words.

  1. Have you always been interested in birds and their habitats? Ever since I can remember, my eyes have been lifted to the skies. I am a very distracted driver…
  2. Three most used colors on your palette? Ultramarine Blue, Transparent Oxide Red, Cadmium Yellow Light
  3. Where is your favorite place—destination, country etc…– to paint? I find beauty everywhere I go, so I find myself sad to leave where I am, yet when I arrive at my destination, I am thrilled to be there! I spend a few months in Florida and a few months in Maine each year. The balance of the year I spend in North Carolina. France and South America are favorite painting trips, in addition to any coast in the US, but I am always happy to return to my home, High Ridge Gardens in Marshville, North Carolina.
  4. Last book you read? Legacy Journey by Dave Ramsey, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and the Art of Gathering by Priya Parker. I read several books simultaneously. Usually a financial book, an art book and a novel.
  5. Most enjoyable travel experience in the past five years? I spent my 60th birthday in Provence with my very best friends. Sharing special moments with the people you love is what it is all about. Celebrating milestones with them is even more important.
  6. Dream vacation/travel destination? I have not visited Costa Rica yet. Birding and painting there is in my future!
  7. In the studio do you listen to music, podcasts, silence or something else? A little bit of all, depending on my mood, and what I am working on. I even watch (or listen to) Netflix stand-up comedy, sometimes documentary, sometimes drama.
  8. Guilty pleasure? Dark chocolate and potato chips. Together.
  9. What is your dream project? Have you already accomplished it? High Ridge Gardens is a work in progress. My 39 acre property with home, studio and guest house is slated to be left as a bird sanctuary and artists retreat. I am in the process of starting a foundation that will support my vision after I am gone.
  10. What do you do to relax? Sit at the pond just before sunset, and listen to the critters settling in for the evening. Just listen. At first, it seems quiet, then as you pay attention, you can hear wonderful things. Birds are flying in, stopping to get a drink, calling to each other, then flitting into the bushes. Frogs and crickets are singing their songs. Small mammals are rustling in the leaves in the stand of woods beside the pond. Turkeys calling. If I am lucky, a deer will wander in just after sunset. My studio is nestled in the woods, next to the pond, so the lure of sitting outside is ever-present. I often take breaks during the day to appreciate where I am.
  11. Who are you inspired by? Nature, this wonderful planet that God has given us dominion over, inspires me. Given dominion doesn’t mean to exploit, but to use and take care of.
  12. If you could spend a day in the studio with any artist living or dead, who would it be? That is a hard one. Ray Harris Ching for his bird studies. Sorrolla for his light. Wyeth for his emotion. Helga often talks of Andrew’s private moments, how he felt so intensely, yet dismissed the ordinary needs and wants of the everyday. Of course, he had that luxury, of only having to paint. No other intrusions, like, bookkeeping, marketing, dinner even…all of this was provided for him. But spending a day in the studio with Wyeth would be enlightening, and entertaining. He is said to have had a wonderful sense of humor and loved a practical joke.

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