The Ornate, Textured Skills of Painter Mary White

Door County skies and lands are highlighted in thick, swirling patterns of vibrant acrylics in the most recent artistic incarnation of longtime Jacksonport painter Mary White.

A scenic painter by training, White has gained a following for her ornate and heavily textured landscapes made on canvas and ornaments. Like most who call the peninsula home, White doesn’t have to travel far for inspiration.

“Summer Roses” by Mary White.

“Over here in Jacksonport, you can see a lot of stars at night and I love that about Door County,” the artist said. “It’s very special to be able to see that many stars. Sometimes the skies, the clouds, they just take your breath away.”

Fifteen years after moving to the county with her husband, Mark Moede, those beautiful skies, fields and trees still interest her. She is in her element plein air painting the peninsula and it was during one such session that she began developing her signature, dimensional style.

“I just took tubes of paint and squeezed it on the canvas in the shape of whatever I wanted,” White said. “I had a tremendous amount of paint on my canvas but it was really fun.”

Within a couple years, she was applying that technique to ornaments for Plum Bottom Gallery, where she has been represented for the past decade. The elevated details in her paintings are achieved through use of heavy acrylic gel mediums applied with squeeze bottles.

Her style has proven to inspire the tactile urges of its viewers.

“Sunrise” by Mary White.

“People really want to touch them,” White said of her paintings. “I think it invites people in more.”

“That texture says something about paint as well,” she added. “It reminds me in some ways of a beautifully decorated cake. When I’m not painting I’m working at the Town Hall Bakery [in Jacksonport] and I’m very influenced by the cake decorating that’s gone on there over the years.”

White will showcase her latest creations and meet with visitors during a special reception from 10 am until 4 pm on Saturday, March 3 at Plum Bottom Gallery, 4999 Plum Bottom Road in Egg Harbor.

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