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Style Magazine

Mary Lou Dales

Jan 02, 2015 05:15PM ● By Style

Photo by Dante Fontana © Style Media Group

Local landscapes and seascapes have always created a peaceful space within artist Mary Lou Dales, and she strives to give others that same experience through her paintings. Although her art didn’t take center stage until she was laid-off from the corporate world, she’s now an avid artist and member of the Folsom Arts Association, Sacramento Fine Arts Center, and the Center for Contemporary Art Sacramento.

HLB: Describe the dream-like quality in your paintings?

MLD: It seems that life in general is just too crazy; we all have too many things to do, places to be and deadlines to meet. I hope to create a little relief—a place where we can remember that quiet feeling we get when we experience the pleasure of seeing something beautiful. When looking at my paintings, I hope it stops [the viewer]—even if just for a moment—and creates that much-needed quiet. 

HLB: Why acrylics?

MLD: It’s not very romantic, but I started working with acrylics because of my allergies and fell in love with their versatility. I can apply them thick so they look like oils, or thin so they look like watercolors or inks. Just don’t get them on your clothes; once hardened, they’re there for life!

HLB: When are you most inspired?

MLD: I literally find inspiration everywhere. Walking out to the car in the morning and seeing a small white flower on a bush makes me stop and try to figure out how to make it work in a painting; simply seeing the flower makes me happy, and I want to share that feeling.

HLB: Who or what’s been your biggest influence?

MLD: My painting life started after I was downsized. My original training was to be an educator, and my undergrad led to a business degree. Both are left-brain majors, so I had to work and study to develop my creative right brain over the years. I’ve always loved art museums, as they offer a barrage of experiences. In the end, the impressionists and great masters are my favorites, and I think their influences can be seen in my work.

HLB: Would you have done anything differently?

MLD: No. Things come as they are supposed to come, in the time they are supposed to come in. I’m very excited about this new stage—it’s a very rewarding time. I love creating and seeing viewers’ reactions to my paintings. After many different careers in the corporate world, I can now say I want to be an artist when I grow up, and here I am…lucky me! 

HLB: What’s in store for the future?

MLD: The future is nothing but open to all opportunities.  I will continue studying so that my work will improve and grow. Actually, I’ll never stop studying, as there’s always room for improvement. I will also continue to partake in local art shows, enter judged shows, and start looking for a local gallery. There’s no place to go but up.
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