December 17, 2017

Preserving on Canvas

Paint BrushMary Whyte has been traveling around the South painting endangered species…like Gary Douglas…whose way of life is disappearing. Whyte arrives early enough to take a picture of the only movie theater (owned by Douglas) left for miles around Lewisburg Tenn. which is not much different from the way it was in the 1940's.

Her subjects are people nobody's every drawn before and Mary chooses them because they are living a life that is unique and important.

The sketches and quick watercolors are just the beginning. Making a good painting that endures and speaks forever is the difficult part. Starting with her first picture called "By a Thread" in response to a newspaper article about a mill closure, this led to 30 more paintings.

Mary leaves her home and studio near Charleston S.C. and moves upstate to Simpsonville for a couple of months each year. There, all she does is paint, eat, and sleep welcoming a hot homemade dinner every day by her landlords Doug and Bille Hogg.

Some of her subjects include – Jane Hogg in the "Beekeeper's Daughter", Algie Varn, crabber and oyster farmer, Mr. Noah a shoeshine man on Canal Street, and Berea Ky in "The Lovers".

All that she works with is a plastic tray, some color and water to produce a wonderful piece of art with translucent quality.

The exhibit "Mary Whyte: Working South" will open March 2, 2011 til October 2, 2011 at the Greenville county Museum of Art in Greenville, S.C.