Mary-ellen works primarily with oils, inks and watercolours to express her fascination with reflections, refractions and shadows. Catching those fleeting visual moments and expressing them abstractly is her ongoing challenge and joy. Never bored, she finds her connected presence and inspiration with what she sees around her; the way the light hits a wall, reflections of inanimate objects on the table or how the light of sunrises, sunsets and shadows plays across water, farm fields, buildings, anything really.
Born in Montreal Quebec, Mary-ellen spent her growing years in Alberta where she was happiest at the family cabin at Gull Lake swimming, sailing, horseback riding and catching frogs. She now lives in Sidney with her husband and two large dogs. Mary-ellen’s enjoyment of nature has always played a major role in her art. As a water loving sailor here and abroad, her frozen memory moments also come from her travels when she stumbles across what makes her feel an integral part of what she sees. She also enjoys her long associated collaborations with another Victoria Artist, Nancy Slaght; which brings great experimentation and challenges of new media and subject matter for them both. They often exhibit their work together.
Mary-ellen thrives in an environment helping to facilitate and grow other artists’ practises. Her career as a senior Arts Administrator includes: the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (including coordination of the Paint-In for 15 years); Victoria College of Art (Registrar); Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (Assistant GM); and Welsh Arts Council (Assistant Director Drama & Dance). Formal Education includes: Victoria College of Art, Cardiff Institute of Art and Design, Banff School of Fine Arts, University of Calgary Visual Arts, and Mount Royal University, AB.
She is a community volunteer: In addition to her association with the Gage Arts Collective, Mary-ellen is a curator and juror with the Chapel Gallery, Victoria; Founding Board Member of the Victoria Visual Arts Legacy Society; Past Board Member of the Vancouver Island School of Art, juror for several South Island Fine Arts shows: Sculpture Splash & Esquimalt Splash; SPAC; and a volunteer with the Sooke and Sidney Fine Arts Shows.
Mary-ellen has exhibited her work in BC & Alberta and her pieces are held in private collections in Canada, UK, France, Spain, US, Mexico & Japan.