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.

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!

Friday, June 13, 2014


Here is some art created on my iPad of three coal plant smokestacks billowing with polluted smoke.  

Now here is the same work of art photoshopped!

Did you know that “coal plants are responsible for more than half of the US human-caused emissions of mercury?  Just 1/70th of a teaspoon of mercury deposited on a 25-acre lake can make the first unsafe to eat.  A typical uncontrolled coal plan emits approximately 170 pounds of mercury each year.  However, activated carbon injection technology can reduce mercury emissions by up to 90 percent when combined with baghouses.  ACI (control) technology is currently found on just 8 percent of the US coal fleet”.   (from Union of Concerned Scientists)

Saturday, May 31, 2014


"Coal Train Through the Forest" done on my iPad.

"Coal Car After Coal Car" done on my iPad. 

When I am on an airplane or do not have brush in hand, I create art on my iPad.  The two pictures here were made using the Brushes app. Since January 2014, I have been doing artwork related to the problems caused by the burning, transportation and mining of coal.  
Last year, while in Sandpoint, Idaho, I witnessed one train pulling 126 (I actually counted!) open coal-filled cars through this beautiful town on its way through Spokane to the West Coast ports.  The ultimate destination for this coal is China.  Just picture this train chugging alongside miles of the pristine forests and clear lakes of northwestern United States.
“It is important to recognize that the only function of coal transport is to link coal mining to coal combustion. The coal mines in the Powder River Basin (Montana and Wyoming) continue to degrade local aquifers and water supplies. Coal combustion in China presents a serious health risk to the hundreds of millions of people, especially children, who live in affected air sheds. Coal combustion is also associated with negative impacts that transcend geographic borders. Ocean acidification, acid rain, mercury emissions, and climate change affect global populations, regardless of where the coal is burned. The financial cost accrued from health and environmental damages from coal mining, processing, transport and combustion are currently estimated at a third to over half a trillion dollars annually in the U.S. alone”.  (Coal Train Facts info@Coaltrainfacts.org).
Let us work collectively and creatively to develop alternative energy solutions.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Acrylic on Gessoed Watercolor Paper  51" x 39"

Global warming's tumultuous effects in the future concern me.  Every day I do  art work related to this worry in the hopes that the paintings will help raise awareness to find solutions.  
If you want to read more about what I am doing, please check out this link to a recent article from Luxe online magazine:
Please also see my updated website:  www.maryloudauray.com
I welcome any comments.  

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.