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Mary Witt


Artist’s Statement


I was raised on abstract art and find myself irresistibly drawn to looking at it and creating it. My parents and grandparents collected it and my cousin had a gallery representing it where I worked one summer in high school. She still collects and I feel at peace being surrounded by these pieces. My grandmother and uncle and cousin were artists. When I look at nature I see abstract images, parts, shapes, textures. When I look at buildings, I see pieces, colors, arrangements. It’s always with me.


For years, I traveled with my camera capturing these spontaneous compositions as ideas for paintings. That is how I began a piece. That has changed. Now I go to a blank canvas and start applying paint with a wide palette knife and find it very satisfying to see what evolves. Sometimes I have an idea of a composition and other times, I just work spontaneously and intuitively, seeing where it leads me.  I love the process of spreading the paint and adding layers and scraping some off and digging through and adding more. Pulling the medium lightly across the existing layers leaves some of the top color as well as showing through the underneath layers. It creates depth and texture and music and movement to me. It feels like inventing a history. I suppose I bring my musicianship to the artwork, but I don’t think of that consciously. Maybe it speaks through the visual composition, subconsciously. These environments exist in their own


Somehow I know when the painting is done and I am ready to paint the edges black and bring it into my house from my studio to live with it. Then I can see if it will become an old friend, comfortable in my house, where I am now also an art collector, like the rest of my family, my personal history.

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