Welcome to my blog. I hope you enjoy reading about my artwork and things that are important to me. Please check out my website at www.maryloudauray.com.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Circle

What can a simple circle denote?  


Here is a calligraphic copy of one of venerable Thich Nhat Hanh's circle meditations:

"In Zen Buddhism, an ensō ( , "circle"?) is a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create.  The ensō symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and mu (the void). It is characterized by a minimalism born of Japanese aesthetics". (Wikipedia) 
very recently was in Japan and experienced first hand the art and simplicity found in Zen Buddhist monasteries.  I saw circles in many designs, but none so important as in the calligraphic circles drawn by Zen monks.  Interesting to me is that even before visiting Japan, the circle had begun to appear in my art work referencing the consequences of coal burning, mining and transportation.  
Today, as I was speaking with a friend while working on my painting, she mentioned that Thich Nhat Hanh, a beloved Zen Buddhist monk, author, teacher, poet and peace activist is very ill with a brain hemorrhage.  He has been a significant force for peace in the world.  Please offer healing thoughts for him.  

Below is a photo taken of my most recent piece which decries the black holes in mountains destroyed by coal mining.  Let there be peace, healing and regrowth returning to these areas.





Sunday, October 12, 2014

Painting at the End of Summer in New Mexico

Sunrise at Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico
Watercolor 12" x 10"

Sculpture of the Mountains
Watercolor 12" x 10"

The beauty of the mountains and land in Abiquiu, New Mexico inspired these two watercolors that I painted with immense pleasure.  I spent a week at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu just at the end of summer this year and painted every day in those glorious surroundings. “To me it is the best place in the world,” Georgia O’Keeffe said (at 94) of Ghost Ranch.  I tend to agree with her!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

AIR


BLUE SKY and TWO BLACK BUILDINGS
Acrylic painting 30"w x 40"h

This is the second in a new painting series calling attention to the air we breathe.  These works are part of a larger group of work I began in January reflecting my concern about the burning, transportation, and mining of coal. 
A recent article posted by the University of Southern California Davis School of Gerontology carries the title  Air Pollution Linked to Cognitive Decline in Older Adults”.  I feel that my “Blue Sky and Two Black Buildings” art piece and the information contained in the article definitely are on the same wavelength.  One can be fortunate indeed to glimpse during the day a blue sky in some of the major cities in the world. 
“Living in cities with high pollution has long been attributed to decline in physical health as we age,” said Jennifer Ailshire, Assistant Professor at the USC Davis School of Gerontology, and fellow researcher Philippa Clarke, who co-wrote the recent report.  They have reason to believe that the tiny particles in vehicle exhaust and other sources of air pollution may hasten cognitive decline.  Ailshire said “the public should understand that there are health risks to living in polluted environments, particularly for older adults”.

For more information on this topic please check out the following link:
http://68.181.146.96/geroNEWSPOSTS/Airpollutionlinkedtocognitivedeclineinolderadults.pdf


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Remembering

Twin Towers  
Oil Painting  24"w x 30"h

Today marks the 13th anniversary of the tragic attacks on the twin towers.  Three days after 9/11 I created this oil painting and today is the first time I am showing this piece.
September 11, 2014 is also the thirteenth anniversary of the death of a family member, Amy Jarret, who was a flight attendant on the ill-fated United Flight 175. Please take a few moments to watch the You Tube video that honors Amy with a beautiful song by Chris Ross:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeZDpPX2MVY
Thank you.



Saturday, August 23, 2014

SUMMER TRAVELS

SOURCE PHOTOS


"And It Rained"  Acrylic on 30" x 40" canvas

How did a photo of laundry hanging out to dry in Croatia inspire my latest painting? During fun travels this summer along the Adriatic, I took numerous photographs of clothes drying outside in the sun.  Upon returning home, I chose one of the photos as reference for a new artwork.   As you can see above, the original photo is in color and I then Photoshopped it into black and white for a contrast study.
(I need to interject here that for the past year I have focused on creating paintings that reflect my concern about coal-caused pollution.  I have been hoping that in some small way I could help increase awareness about how the continued use of coal as a source of energy is extremely toxic to the world’s air quality).
Anyway, I started the 30"w x 40"w canvas thinking I would paint a delightful scene illustrating clothes drying on a line—a simple idea.  However, the painting evolved into an artwork with acid green and black lines falling on some mountains!  As I was doing the piece, it felt as though I were painting acid rain, not the sunny image of clothes swaying in the breeze on a sunny day.   I find it so true that sometimes an inner voice creeps in and takes over as you do a creative work and I try to listen. 

So, to quote from the Environmental Protection Agency Student Site:  Human activities are the main cause of acid rain. Over the past few decades, humans have released so many different chemicals into the air that they have changed the mix of gases in the atmosphere. Power plants release the majority of sulfur dioxide and much of the nitrogen oxides when they burn fossil fuels, such as coal, to produce electricity. In addition, the exhaust from cars, trucks, and buses releases nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide into the air. These pollutants cause acid rain.”

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Two Paintings of Iceland


"Jen"  Oil on Canvas, 20"w x 30"h


"Tectonic Plates-Iceland"  Oil on Canvas, 20"w x 30"h

Inspiration for artists comes from many places and a memorable visit to Iceland moved me to create numerous works of art.  Please look on my website (www.maryloudauray.com) to see some of that artwork.  
Pictured here are two oil paintings that were just juried into a show at the O’Hanlon Art Gallery in Mill Valley, California.  The first one, entitled “Jen”, depicts the entrance into the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa near Reykavik.  According to the website of the Blue Lagoon, the waters get their blue colour from the silica and the way it reflects light.  Admittedly, basking in the naturally warm waters was both calming and healing.  It is easy to see why people enjoy congregating there in any type of weather. 
The second oil painting illustrates a dramatic rift in the area in Iceland where you can see the results of the shifiting and drifting apart of two major tectonic plates above sea level. This process has been going on for millions of years.  How could one not paint this scene!  Enjoy!