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Mary Franklin Gravitates Toward Abstract Images Filled with Color, Texture, Whimsy & Movement

Mary Franklin's WATER BEARERS -- Water-based oil on paper is a good example of her Ethnic & Primitive style. More artwork below...

Like many artists, Mary Franklin does indeed have a day job. But, whenever that magical period of retirement may appear, Mary is not without a plan – full-time artist.

Drawing since childhood, she took art classes throughout high school and college. While at Howard University she majored in Fine Arts studying with notable instructors. Mary recalls one teacher demanding she redraw a human hand 50 times! Many of her classes focused on illustrating the human form in very exacting ways which may be why she prefers creating more abstract images today.

Her favorite mediums are water-based oils on the heaviest paper she can find along with acrylics.

Mary says, “My paintings fall generally in the genre of Ethnic & Primitive, Abstracts, and Whimsical. I am well known for my series called “Crooked Houses” (see below) which came about after a mistake I made in attempting to paint a little church off the beaten path in Iowa. I’ve been often told that the paintings in this series make people smile and feel good.”

From Mary's whimsical "Crooked Houses" Series – “Orange Hills” - Water-based oil on paper

She finds ongoing inspiration from traveling to exotic locales, color, texture, movement and in capturing elements of the landscape around her. She’s also moved by viewing the work of other artists.

What’s her biggest challenge? “I’d say I have a few,” Mary responds. “The first is knowing when to stop and declare a piece finished. It’s all too tempting for me to go back, even after I’ve signed a piece, and keep adding touches. I nit-pick and can be very self-critical of my work. I’d like to be happy when it’s completed and to just stop knowing that nothing more is needed. Other challenges include finding time I can devote to creating art and also being consistent in my marketing.”

She adds that the business side of being an artist remains a downside. However, she’s discovered that word-of-mouth has worked well for her along with appearing in indoor art shows.

The plus side? “I love to paint,” Mary sums up. ‘Feeling like part of the artist community at large keeps me going. My artistic side is what I consider the most exciting thing about myself.”

She sells her work unframed and unmatted so patrons can finish it off in ways that match their own décor.

For more information, email Mary directly at:

An example of Mary's Ethnic & Primitive work is FERTILITY DANCE -- Oil stick on paper

“The Harvest” - Water-based oil on paper

Sex and the City Plus One” - Water-based oil on paper

“Run, Tiger Comin” - Water-based oil on paper

“Potted Plant” -- Acrylic on paper

Versatile artist, Mary Franklin

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