Mary Dennis

Oil pastel is my favorite medium. My work reflects a fascination with texture, pattern and color in textiles, and nature. My two dimensional work is an outgrowth of my involvement in creating costumes and properties for theater productions at the high school and community theater level since 1987. I also design and costume life size witches, clowns, santas, elves and other assorted characters in collaboration with another artist under the name, FROM RAGS TO WITCHES. I create my own soft sculpture creatures which include sheep puppets, chickens, buzzards and bunnies under the name, Jester Creations.

I have worked in watercolor and was a member of the Oregon Watercolor Society. I also work in pen and ink and soft pastel. I am currently showing in the ART MUSEUM RENTAL SALES GALLERY and was chosen to show in the national AMERICAN WOMEN ARTISTS 2009 show and competition in Easton, Maryland, where I won an Honorable Mention. I was chosen again for the 2010 show in Dallas, Texas and the 2012 show in Tubac, Arizona. In 2014, I was honored to be invited to become a Signature Member of AMERICAN WOMEN ARTISTS. In my first Signature Member Show in 2014 at the Addison Gallery in Cape Cod, I won the GOLD MEDAL in the Signature Member Category.

I currently work in oil pastel. My work reflects my fascination with the texture, pattern and color in textiles tapestries and carpets that grew out of my work in theater costuming and prop construction. Basically, I layer my colors and then I use toothpicks, sandpaper, and pottery tools to create a base for more layers of color. Then I scrape with a straight edged pottery tool. As I scrape, I uncover interesting texture and colors from underneath. Trees, grasses, and other natural phenomenon emerge as color from on top settles into the grooves I have created. I am process oriented. I like to describe my technique as “subtractive” rather than “additive” because I do not plan my composition ahead of time by drawing in the trees and land formations. It emerges as I work and react to what I uncover.