Mary Iverson

Her paintings and murals explore the balance between the environment and industry. They inspire conversations about our complicated relationship with nature.

She teaches painting and drawing at Skagit Valley College, where she is the Art Department Chair. Currently, she lives and works in Seattle.

Her designs begin with sketching in nature. Then back in the studio, she experiments with paper acrylic paintings to explore perspective grids that would fit the wall.

Photo of Mary Iverson painting a mountains, cliffs, and forest landscape on canvas.
Photo of Mary Iverson

“I devote a lot of time to the design phase of my murals. It’s more time-consuming than the time spent painting on the wall.” 

Photo of Mary Iverson and her dog on top of a hill looking our at mountains, pine trees, and a large river flowing through the mountains.
Photo of Mary Iverson and her dog in nature

Lastly, she moves to the computer, combining the grid layout with the landscape elements from her sketches. Once the design is finalized, she experiments with color palettes.

For her mural showcased on Beyond the Pail, she started by sketching Picture Lake, with a reflection of Mount Shuksan in the calm water.

She stayed with a group of photographers to get images of the night sky above the mountain. During this time, they heard a bear take a few snuffly breaths from behind them before retreating through the bushes.

“After that, we kept talking loudly to alert other large animals of our presence.”

Back in the studio, she used acrylic paint on paper to explore a few versions of the grid for the mural. When her design was ready, she made a laminated print that she could refer to while painting on the wall.

The works in the show project the creative process behind the mural she painted for the Murals in the Market festival.

Coming up, she has a solo show at Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle in September. In August, she will be re-painting a 2006 mural she did for the city of Kent (near Seattle).

Photo of "Murals in the Market" mural. This mural shows a night time image of Picture Lake, with a reflection of Mount Shuksan in the calm water surrounded by pine trees.  The sky is dark with large stars connected with glowing lines. These stars and lines make up various constellation formations.
Photo of “Murals in the Market” mural

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