Painter Mary Harper's body of work spans landscapes, architectural landscapes, still lifes, and a few portraits.
She changed her watercolor style in mid-stream in the 1990s. While she had never been a photo-realist, she had studied fashion design as a young woman. That brought precision and proportion and perspective and scale to her paintings.
Then she changed her mind.
"I want to learn how to smush," she said then.
Blob and smush is all about softening the edges. You "blob" on the color on, then "smush" it down by drawing a damp brush under the color. It keeps the buildings and palm trees and people from looking too much like they were pasted from a photograph.
Artist Catherine Carey offers classes and more, including this explanation of "smushing."
Ms. Harper did learn and her output blossomed.
The Rancher portrait and the Victorian Bouquet still life, below, are good examples of the realism she often painted.
The Purple Man portrait, below, shows the beginning of her transition.
The Desert Flowers, below, may have been her first smush.
Examples of Mary Harper's work in oil, acrylic, scratchboard, and gouache can be found here.For more information . . .Mary D. Harper
c/o North Puffin Gallery
Dick Harper, Chair
P.O. Box 1
Highgate Springs, VT 05460