Pastel is an ideal medium to capture the unique textures, shapes, and colors of my subjects. Pastel can be a line, contributing calligraphic and gestural quality to form, or it can be a tonal passage of color. Strokes can be thick or thin; passages of color can be narrow or broad with blended or precise contours. It can be applied in a myriad of ways. My intent is to use this language of line and color to communicate qualities of my subject while maintaining the unique integrity of the medium.
My subjects present color opportunities that the rich color quality of pastel can amplify; color experience is always a significant characteristic of my paintings. My challenge lies in discerning and then communicating intangible qualities of my subject without allowing the form to dominate.
Lately I’ve worked on two series of square-format paintings, one using flowers as a subject and the other with various citrus. They are explorations into concept, composition, abstraction versus realism, and color experience. My aim isn’t to focus on the flowers and glass vase or fruit per se but rather to use their characteristics to suggest possibilities for handling color, line and shape. My focus is on the process of painting. Within it are the magical moments, the challenges and pleasure of being an artist.
Pastel is a portable medium allowing me to continue in the tradition of artists working directly from a subject. My landscapes are done from observation on site, en plein air. The working experience is linked with the ever-changing environment that presents variables of color, value, and texture.
Mary Padgett's paintings are distinctive for her use of color. She works in both oil and pastel, is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America and has been featured in American Artist and Pastel Journal magazines.
Her paintings are in numerous private and public collections, including Towers Perrin, Takasago International, and the Long Island Jewish Medical Center. She has participated in many local and national exhibitions, with exhibition and competition awards from the Pastel Society of America, the Fenimore Art Museum, and the Finger Lakes Plein Air Competition.
Mary was educated at Boston University and Syracuse University. She has taught painting and color courses for Syracuse University and Cazenovia College, and currently conducts workshop programs in the US and abroad.