Join us Thursday for Capitol Hill Art Walk at Standard Goods! We are excited to be hosting many diverse and talented artists as part of the group show "Into The Wild." Meet Mary Atwood she is an illustrator whose lifeblood is gouache, watercolor, and ink. Her drawings are influenced by the flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest, Gothic architecture, her cat, and fairy and folk tales. Wood slices are one of her favorite surfaces to work on, as the natural grain lends even more character and texture to the illustrations.
Why do you do what you do?
Because it feels like my purpose. If I go without illustrating for more than a couple of days, I feel kind of worthless. Even if I'm not feeling inspired or if I don't like what I'm currently working on, it still feels better to be doing it than not.
What's your spirit animal?
Where did you grow up? And how did it influence you as an artist?
I grew up in Texas, and it probably most influenced my decision as an artist to get the hell out of that state and go somewhere I could develop my skills more freely. Even in Austin, I didn't feel like I was growing or like I could pursue illustration without people telling me it was too difficult or thinking I was strange.
What artist do you most identify with?
Maybe Monet. His personal struggles with his own work, depression, and family resonate a bit with me, as well as his love for painting outdoors.
Describe a good or bad situation in your past that inspired you?
Anytime something awful happens in my personal life, I feel like I can never draw again. But after a few hours (or sometimes days) of forcing myself to work, I find that I still love to illustrate. It's always encouraging, and reminds me that, even though it may take some time, I can always find happiness with just a pen and some paper.
What's your worst nightmare?
To be abandoned by people I love.
If you could travel in a time machine, where or when would you go?
To any prehistoric period when no animals or plants had gone extinct yet. I'd love to see what nature looked like before humans touched it!
How has your style as an artist changed over the years?
From realist to a mixture of so many things! I started out training with observation, still-lifes, and a very traditional style of painting and charcoal drawing. After being bored with that, I discovered that I could actually just draw whatever I wanted- on whatever I wanted! So I started mixing all my favorite mediums and styles together and that's where I am now.
How is your personality reflected in your work?
I'm a pretty dark person, but love cute and pretty things. I often try to keep my use of color minimal, and play with a lot of texture. I love illustrating creatures that have cute features, but have some sort of mysteriousness or creepiness in them.
What is your favorite medium to work with?
Watercolor, gouache, and ink on wood.