580 Cypress Street, Pismo Beach, California (805) 773-8057
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE COLOR
Mary Bechtol has had a love affair with the arts ever since a third grade teacher in her native Oklahoma taught her to paint to music. She grew up on the Southern Plains. Most would agree that there isn't much to look at on the Plains, but Mary began to notice subtle differences in the landscape with the varying shades, hues, tones, and how the colors changed with the differing light. She learned that different hues of the same value excite the eye. Mary studied art at West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas and studied with many with many great artists. Watercolorist Stephan Kramer taught her how to adjust color temperature and Scott Burdick taught her to appreciate color value. Rick Howell, she says, “gave me the courage to do what I do.” As an accomplished plein air painter, most of her landscapes begin as a plein air "photograph" with which to create the actual paintings in her studio. Mary gives the viewer barely enough information to recognize a location, the greater focus being on the push and pull of color, which gives each piece its depth. She works primarily with oils because of the beautiful sheen and vibrant luster they produce. She paints less to depict the landscape than to capture the colors.