Recent work finds me caught up in an exploration of my unique visual experiences, striving to convey what it feels like to be trapped inside of the filter my brain is determined to use. My hope is that these pieces reach the audience with a pleasant, energetic, positive slant. I use vivid color combinations and repetitive strokes to push those feelings across the space between art and viewer. I hope for individuals to find landscapes, animals, people, or objects among the chaos of dots and fragments of color. Figurative pieces are a way for me to explore my love of photographs., especially the extensive collection from my own family history. I enjoy the unique combination of realism and abstract expressionism within a painting and the challenge of marrying juxtaposing concepts.
“My process involves many layers of paint, giving these canvases an entire individual history. I am looking for them to spark wonder and curiosity, just as I marvel at the history of objects, and imagine their life’s experiences. I would like for the viewer to recognize something of themselves in each piece- a memory, a favorite color, a feeling.”
Friday, March 25th 5:00pm PST/8:00pm EST
Mary Payton is an award winning South Dakota artist living in Sioux Falls. She attended South Dakota State University and received a BS in Art Education. After graduating, a class in stained glass spurred a 12 year exploration of glass as a medium. She is a self-taught fused and carved glass artist. It was with the rigid constraints of the medium that she felt her first successes as an abstract expressionist. The style that developed at this time still influences her work, though she no longer works in glass and has moved on to mixed media and acrylic paint. During these years Mary worked as a freelance art teacher. Subjects included drawing, painting, sculpture, jewelry making, art history, and glass fusing. It became common to find her booth at local art fairs.
In 2015 an autoimmune disease attacked Mary’s body and she was left with a very rare neurological condition that affects her vision. The new way she literally sees the world spurred a return to the easel, and has inspired an exploration of abstract, non-representational paintings. Though it seems like an impossible task to represent her unusual vision in a single static image, her most recent work is a vigorous examination of how her eyesight feels emotionally. These pieces have been exhibited in several local and solo shows. The work is very vivid and generally considered happy and exciting, full of movement, and texture. Her work has been published in several books, and magazines.