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.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Furnace Heated by Coke

Here is a photo of my new work in progress:  an acrylic painting being done on two sheets of paper. This  art work in my "Coal" series that I started in January, 2014, depicts coke burning in an old blasting furnace.    According to Wikipedia, historical sources dating as far back as to the 4th century that describes the production of coke in ancient China.  The most important raw material  fed into the blast furnace for making iron and steel is coke and the most commonly used form comes from coal.  I am an artist--not an engineer or scientist--but I wish there were a process commonly used that would not have to employ coal as a primary heating source.  From the  How Stuff Works  web site (http://science.howstuffworks.com) I found out that "the more advanced way (these days) to smelt iron is still in a blast furnace..which is charged with iron ore, charcoal or coke and limestone (CaCO3).  No matter how much we wished that the burning of coal could be eliminated entirely--thus removing the most major source of carbon dioxide in the air--many industries are still dependent on it.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2014



30" x 30" Acrylic on Canvas

Although this painting is not quite finished, I wanted to post it in order to continue showing works I am currently doing that focus on coal.  I am also finding that during my painting breaks  I have been using the time to read about the history of coal; study about the problems currently associated with the burning and transporting of coal; and learn about the  ways people are starting to slowly shift the world's dependence on coal and other fossil fuels as energy sources by developing a variety of alternatives.   
Here is a tidbit of coal history from www.ecology.com.  I am sure you all know this, but I found it interesting.  
"Although the fossil fuel coal had been used as a fuel since 1,000 B.C., it wasn’t until the arrival of the Industrial Revolution from the mid-1700s through the 1800s that coal began to replace biomass (essentially wood) as the primary source of energy.  The Industrial Revolution also marks the beginning of an era when the world human population started to explode. Indelibly tied together, both energy consumption and population growth have experienced exponential growth with few exceptions since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. As the population increased, energy demands increased with greater intensity".

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


"Flame and Coal"

Intense concern would be an understatement in trying to describe the feelings generated as I continue doing this series of coal paintings.  I am motivated because the more I learn about the negative environmental impact of coal burning, mining, and transportation, the more I know that I need to use my art to bring attention to this serious pollution situation. While coal is the largest source of energy for the generation of electricity worldwide, it is also one of the largest sources of carbon dioxide releases.
Flame and Coal” is the third in my large acrylic works on this subject.  It is painted on 300 lb.gessoed watercolor paper and is 39” wide by 52” high.
I am very grateful for the numerous resources and photos about coal that are easily obtainable online.  This “Flame and Coal” painting is based on a photo from theguardian.com found in the category of burning coal photos. 
Interestingly, after I had almost completed my painting, I found a version of the same photo on the cover of a recommended book entitled “The Silent Epidemic” by Dr. Alan Lockwood.  He simply states: “the dirty secret is coal kills”.
Please see more of my art at www.maryloudauray.com.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Burning Coal Makes Me See Blue

Can you see the touches of blue among the pieces of burning coal in this painting?  Most of the reference photos I am studying for my coal series are replete with the colors of gray, black and orange.  However, I found one picture that had blue traces and found out in Wikipedia that “a blue-colored flame only emerges when the amount of soot decreases and the blue emissions from excited molecular radicals become dominant.”  This artist is learning some science! and I love the color blue.
Why am I doing a series of coal art pieces?  My artwork is my voice and there is a chance that these coal paintings and drawings might help create a visual reminder of the significant dangers inherent in the mining, cleaning, transportation and burning of coal.  For the near future at least, every time I post a blog, I will mention the impacts caused by using this type of fuel.
Please look through my website at www.maryloudauray.com to see more of my art.

Monday, February 3, 2014


"Women's Rights" by Mary Lou Dauray, Watercolor, 22" x 15" 


Menlo College in Atherton, California, put out a call for artists to enter an exhibition honoring the college and coinciding with its founding 85 years ago.   Artists had to be juried in and once chosen the artist was given a randomly assigned year between 1927, the year of Menlo’s founding,  and 2013 to respond in an artistic way to the cultural, historical or personal events of the specified year.  I was selected as one of the artists and given the year 1975.   After much research, I concluded that I would do a painting honoring WOMEN because in 1975 the first International Women’s Conference took place and, in addition,  WOMEN were depicted on the cover of TIME magazine’s 1975 Person of the Year!
The painting referenced a video still taken at that time.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Magic in the Air

Greetings and Happy New Year from the forest of Hobbit Land in New Zealand!  I definitely felt the magic and enchantment there in early December, 2013, while sitting in the chair from Beorn's house! 

More magic ensued when, immediately following the New Zealand trip, I traveled to West Palm Beach, Florida and taught a Master Class on environmental art to ninth graders at the A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts.  While in the class, I experienced the "magic" of the student's focused interest, their originality, creativity and enthusiasm.  Please visit the link to read some of their own comments about the class.  http://dreyfoosartreview.blogspot.com/p/mary-lou-dauray.html

Lastly, we, as artists, integrate magic into our art.  Below is a 90"wide by 30"oil triptych which almost created itself.  As many of you know, my recent work has concentrated on raising awareness about the issues of global warming and pollution.  In these three paintings completed during the fall of 2013, I collaged broken pieces of painted plastic onto the canvases which allude to the problem of plastic ocean pollution in our oceans.  The white paint at the bottom suggests icebergs.  As you can see, the linear drips of rain fall down into what looks like cracks in the ice.  These drops descended and created their own pathways on to a magical journey to the snow.  I was so pleased to see this happen.  

Please check my website:  www.maryloudauray.com to see more of my work.  I look forward to hearing from you.  My email is mldauray@gmail.com.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Here I am working on a new triptych painting about icebergs while, at the same time, thinking about news reports (John Vidal--The Guardian--March 25, 2013) linking the massive snowstorms and bitter spring to the dramatic loss of sea ice.

My "Iceberg Wasteland" oil painting (see below) was honored on May 1, 2013, to receive an Award of Excellence in the Manhattan Arts International Competition celebrating the Healing Power of Art.   Also please check out my interview at http://reneephillips.blogspot.com/2013/05/interview-with-artist-mary-lou-dauray.html".