Mary Vaughan

Mary Vaughan is an abstract, yet narrative painter whose work exudes a strong painterly quality and a fascination with nature, land forms and earth entities. Vaughan strives to evoke meaning beyond the obvious with visual metaphor.

Vaughan holds an MA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from the Maine College of Art in Portland. She has worked as a full time painter in Santa Rosa, California since 2001. Raised in Nebraska by a father whose love for old fonts and color as a commercial printer and a mother whose literary interests ignited intellectual thinking, Vaughan continues to nurture her ties to the Midwest and lives part of each year in Santa Rosa and Hastings, Nebraska where she was born and raised.

The piece entitled "love cell," submitted for this Corona Virus call for entries is based on the idea that all natural matter, matters. Here, a human white blood cell, a hydrangea and a sea urchin mix into one connected living orb, communicating the subtle idea that the earth is part of us and when it is not taken care of, all living things, suffer the consequences.


The Art of Mary Vaughan

The paintings shown here are what I call "Eco Abstracts" whereby I am using current, air, light and bounty of the earth to send subtle messages about the human condition. Mettle is about old rose remnants gone to seed, producing in multiples, raw and unattended...there is something wonderful about imperfections and leaving things alone in quiet abundance. Heaven on Earth is a kind a prayer through plant life with wood attachments that suggest secrets or confessions. Red Earth is a playful landscape with a croquet stick, suggesting our taming of the land. Podcasts is a play on words, capturing unidentified pods about to burst open or be cast into bloom. Marbles roll below them as manmade pods or symbolic circles of life...the earth is called the "blue marble," afterall. Counting on Angels is not an abstract, yet the vintage survey rod through the unplowed diptych of blooming prairie, suggest an ecological issue about whether to leave the land as is or to turn it into into surburbia.

mettle “mettle”

48' x 40" acrylic on wood with wood inlay

heaven on earth “heaven on earth”

52 x 48" acrylic on wood with old side panels

red earth “red earth”

20 x 18" acrylic on wood with vintage croquet stick

podcasts “podcasts”

18 x 12" acrylic on wood with attached plexi box with old marbles

Counting on Angels “Counting on Angels”

48 x 30" acrylic on wood with old survey rod as mid panel