"Receiving my first box of Crayolas at 5 years, was the beginning of a life long love affair with color and design, and i realized at that early age how color could influence my life and change my moods."
Mary J. Howard , an only child, was born in the United States , and spent most of her elementary and high school years in boarding school , where the arts were encouraged .
After majoring in fine arts at the University of Arizona, Howard moved to Los Angeles, married , and raised two children, Mark and Holly, while continuing her art studies at Los Angeles Valley College, and with Flavio Cabral, and Renata Zerner. Painting with oils on canvas, the" Old Masters " techinique emerged as a favorite style. Labor intensive, this tecnique has many layers of glaze that are slowly built up to form a translucent depth.
"As I began to travel more , and spend extended periods of time in both the Middle East and South East Asia, my love of other cultures grew. I marveled at the exotic , brilliant colors, and started sketching, making notes, and talking with local people. The many wonderful people who have allowed me a glimpse into their daily lives are my inspiration. I am drawn to cultures that are deeply connected to a sense of spirituality, whatever that might be . I travel with a translator, and am able to communicate at length with my subjects to gain information, and to visit many of their homes. Though they may have few material things, the utmost hospitality is offered, and over cups of tea, we are able to connect with each other , and i am able to bring them to life on canvas. "
With her children grown, and now a single woman, Howard moved to Northern California, and maintained a gallery/studio for 17 years on the beautiful Sonoma County coastline. Along with her daughter, Holly, "Poppysilk," a textile design company was formed, with silk hand -marbelized accessories being sold in both the U. S and Europe. Classes were available in "Marbelizing Fabrics", as well as painting in the" Old Masters", and the surrounding massive redwood trees and rugged coastline provided continued inspiration.
In 2002, seeking a warmer climate , Howard moved to Naples, Florida where she specialized in murals. The move South continued, and she relocated to the Republic of Panama in 2004,
where she now maintains a studio/glllery in Costa Esmeralda.
Howard's work is represented in Europe, the United States, and Latin America, both in corporate and private collections., and she has participated in solo, group, and juried exhibitions. and has won numerous awards.
Commissions are accepted, and created according to the clients needs and budget.
"In this Global community, we must learn to accept, and celebrate, each others differences, and to live in peace..... Art is one path toward this goal.