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.

Monday, November 23, 2015


Sunset over the Sierra Nevada Mountains (Photo taken with iPhone)
Photoshop versions
While flying over the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains last week I quickly took a photo out the window with my trusty iPhone.  The stunning beauty of the sun casting pink color on the snowy mountain peaks captivated me and I was lucky to capture the view. 
Today, I had a Photoshop lesson and began to digitally adjust the photo.  I do realize that the mountains cannot be made any more beautiful, but I wanted to learn how to do some artistic digital photo techniques!  I am very much enjoying  some of the many ways Photoshop can enhance, change, alter and encourage my creativity. If any of you want to share some ideas on this subject, I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015


The Symbol
A Mother
The March

Usually in my blog I talk about art I am either working on or have finished.  Today, however, I am relating a different kind of story—a saga that has been ongoing for 38 years and to which a symbol or logo has been ascribed:  a white headscarf.
Every single Thursday a group of mothers, sisters, and relatives, wearing white headscarves, and called the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, march around the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  They march for justice and to remind the world about the disappearance of their sons and daughters during political violence in the country between the 1970’s and 1980’s.   More than 30,000 people were kidnapped and murdered by Argentinian extremist right-wing groups, or the military government, that seized power in a coup in 1976.
The mothers, in April of 1977, wanted to know what had happened to their children who had begun to disappear.  A group of them spontaneously grabbed each other’s arms and started walking around the plaza in front of the presidential palace.  It was the very first act of a courageous movement.  At the beginning, three of the founding mothers, along with two French nuns and several activists disappeared, were tortured and thrown alive from planes.  Nevertheless, and despite threats, other mothers continued to march. Many of the mothers have now died and some are in their 80’s.  Last Thursday, while visiting Buenos Aires, I happened upon this march and had the privilege of walking along with the mothers and other supporters.  Words cannot describe the overwhelming feeling of sadness I experienced for their losses and as well as profound admiration for their courage, strength and determination.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


 BURNING COAL  22"w x 30"h acrylic on paper
 IS IT HERE? MY HOUSE? 22"w x 30"h acrylic on paper
BURN  30"w x 22"h acrylic on paper

Global warming’s effects hit hard and furiously this last week here in northern California.  Destructive wildfires burned with an intensity not seen before.  Hundreds of homes were lost, people died, and hundreds of thousands of acres of land burned.  Our governor, Jerry Brown, said that the “raging wildfires in recent weeks draw attention to global warming, highlighting links between hot, dry conditions and the severity of fires.”
For quite some time now I have been painting artworks about the burning, transporting and mining of coal.  Coal pollution  is assuredly one of the major causes of the greenhouse gasses that are warming the surface of our planet.  I feel that the three paintings posted above relate to what we are currently experiencing in California with these monstrous wildfires.  “We are now paying the price for unchecked climate change” according to the League of Conservation Voters. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015


                                                                   COAL USED UP  
                                              FOUR CANVAS PANELS  16" x 16"  OIL 

Summer Travels and Four Paintings

My recent travels transported me from the shores of California to the beaches of New England; from the seaside in France, Malta, Sardinia, and Italy to the blue waters in Greece.   Along the way I took many photographs, some of which I am hoping will eventually be incorporated into my artwork.   As I went from place to place, I kept my eyes wide open to see and experience what culture surrounded me. 
Even though I was fortunate enough to travel to intriguing and lovely environs,  it was impossible for me to bury or eliminate a continuing troubling undercurrent about how human-centered activities are smothering our planet’s life. Ideally, I should not even have been creating more of a carbon footprint by getting on an airplane and flying to distant lands!  This is a dilemma.
Since I have been doing art work for the past 18 months about the use, transporting, and mining of coal, upon returning to my studio I continued on this path by painting  a four-paneled oil art piece.  This work illustrates my view of the continuing environmental destruction caused by burning coal.  The first panel shows  a blue sky surrounding a large piece of coal.  The last section depicts a black sky smothering the small remaining lump of coal.   Scientists, geologists and others are very alarmed about the extremely rapid and destructive mining, and subsequent use, of minerals and deposits that have taken millions of years to form. Once these minerals and fossil fuel deposits are depleted, they will be gone forever.    
I am also trying to help counter, in some small way, the depressing facts and statistics about the condition of our planet. I have been posting on the Internet numerous articles of the good work, inventions and products people are developing that might help in reducing man-made greenhouse gasses. I am also writing an environmental column for www.manhattanarts.com at the following site: www.healing-power-of-art.org.  There you can read stories about artists who are devoting their talent and energies to raising awareness about various aspects of the downturn in our environment.
I am inspired by Dorothea Lange’s beautiful comment:  “Art is a byproduct of an act of total attention” and certainly my art focus these days has been primarily on climate disruption.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


Monterey, Ca. (Oil) 8"h x 10"w

Hawaii-2015 (Oil) 10"w x 8"h
Georgia's Mountain in Abiquiu, New Mexico (Oil) 8"w x 10"h

Can you imagine 700 plein air artists gathered in one place for five days to teach, learn, have fun and collaborate? This past April I experienced such an event in beautiful Monterey, California. I chose to attend this convention with some of the masters of plein air painting because I felt an urgent need to paint outside of my studio walls to look, really see, and feel the exquisite beauty of nature. 
The last few years I have been creating work reflecting my deep concern over the destruction we humans have done to our planet.  The research I have done, and the paintings I have created about my version of climate destruction, was depressing me.  For a change of pace I thought it would be good to learn how to work out of doors.   
During those five very busy days, we all went on site and set up our easels at the beaches in Carmel and Asilomar and put brush to canvas on the rugged coast of Point Lobos and the wharf in Monterey.  Part of the exercise was like “Outward Bound” since in some cases the wind was blowing 40 miles an hour and the sand was impaling the canvases!   Nevertheless, I loved the experience!
Since that week in April, I have been fortunate enough to paint outdoors in the SF Bay Area; the big island of Hawaii; Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico; and also in the New York Adirondacks.  While the practicality of painting outside definitely is a challenge, it has given me a chance to quietly sense  and profoundly appreciate our beautiful planet.  It is so clear to me that right now we do need to search for ways to save it from the damages of climate change. 
“These are our times and our responsibilities.  Every human being has a sacred duty to protect the welfare of our Mother Earth, from whom all life comes.  In order to do this we must recognize the enemy—the one within us.  We must begin with ourselves.  We must live in harmony with the Natural World and recognize that excessive exploitation can only lead to our own destruction.  We cannot trade the welfare of our future generations for profit now”.  These comments come from the an address to the United Nations by Tadodaho Leon Shenandoah, high chief among the Six National Iroquois Confederacy and revered spiritual leader.  
Please check out my website: www.maryloudauray.com
Thank you.