(Courtesy photo) Artwork such as the above “Liquid Motion” photo will be on display by artist Mary Maio at Grace & Joy during ArtWalk 2019.
When the waves of unexpected challenges keep knocking you down, it might be best to find a strategy to help keep one’s “head above water.” For Mary Maio, her “life preserver” was her art, sagacity, and the science of “blue.”
Recently, Maio discovered the biologist and best-selling author, Wallace J. Nichols, who presented in his book, Blue Mind, current technological research that significantly identified a state of calm and happiness that can be inspired by water, the elements associated with water, and the color blue.
So in March, starting with Lake Pend Oreille at Garfield Bay, Maio studied the patterns of light on water with graphite pencils and soft pastels. After many days on the cold beach with the moving water, soft wind, and natural sounds, she started to be still, breathe, and draw. Later, in her studio, with the intent to tap into the calming power of blue, Maio painted “Resting Egret.”
“Resting Egret” was inspired by her husband, John Maio, who took a photograph of a lonely egret standing in the waters of the Elkhorn Slough, a 7-mile-long tidal estuary on Monterey Bay in Monterey County, California. Maio remembered the busy highway that was behind her and her husband when this image was captured. This photo of the egret reminded Maio of a Chinese saying “In the midst of hustling activity steal moments of quietness.” With these words of wisdom as her theme, along with the many hues of blue oils flowing around the egret’s form on the canvas, Maio’s sense of tranquility slowly returned.