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I am interested in painting as a means of surviving the world. I love color, pattern and the materiality of paint. My paintings are experiential and layered. Veering in palette from deep blacks and whites to intense color. The paint references themes of growth, rejuvenation, cell division, and the cosmos, technology and Nature. There are subtle images of the body and its parts, particles and waves - the stuff of all matter. Scale shifts: from micro to macro, from cellular to cosmic, paint continues around all edges, all surfaces -touched with pattern and color. I work with paint - oils, alkyd, and polymer on wood panels and paper to digital prints with gouache.
For many years I have been concerned with survival and extinction. Concerns of our fragile world have filled my mind and informed my paintings. When I was diagnosed in 2002 with cancer, it brought these concerns closer to home. Since that time images have entered my "abstract" work. Images of extinct birds such as the Dodo to the Ivory billed Woodpecker (hopefully still here) and more recently my own PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans have found there way into my work.
I find myself forever juggling, balancing different parts of my life. My paintings are often meditative, yet I like to play. I am a maximal minimalist. I play with abstract formalism, with sudden shifts in treatment, color, and texture, even extensions into sculpture. I entertain contradictions. Some of these juxtapositions exude a sense of humor, a playful attitude. But humor and playfulness can give way to deeper sensations - to the underside of dissolution and isolation.
We each live multiple realities. Our inner lives exist at times, quite separately from our external life. Survival often depends on this ability to separate and then connect disparate worlds, edge to edge. There is in this edge something that intrigues me: The line that defines and separates our different selves, a geometry that holds the connections of form, space, time, and sensation.
These paintings are finally meditations on our uncertain existence. Reflecting on the complexities of our lives. My paintings strive to give a sense of how we can exist in our world. I want them to be beautiful, to give a sense of wonder, of hope - to entertain the minds eye.
— Mary Hambleton 2008
The one memory I keep is her love of paint, she adored materials.