Mary Taylor is a New Zealander who has been working as a fulltime artist for many years.
Mary works in limited edition, hand-coloured etchings and in paintings.
She has also written and illustrated books. She lives and works in a wilderness area of exceptional beauty, lush forest and rugged coastline.
She has wide representation in galleries throughout New Zealand. Her book Old Blue: the Rarest Bird in the World won the 1994 New Zealand non-fiction award and she is represented in New Zealand’s Favourite Artists (ed. Denis Robinson, 2006).
Mary’s paintings have been shown in New York and Beijing.
Mary’s etchings are prepared in a traditional manner.
The design is drawn through a dark varnish on to prepared zinc plate. Metal needles are used for the drawing.
When the first lines are ready, the plate is immersed in a solution of nitric acid and the acid bites away (etches) the exposed parts of the plate. This process is repeated many times.
A fine quality acid-free paper is soaked in water. The metal plate is carefully inked with special printing ink. The plate is placed on the bed of the etching press and the damp paper placed on top. Then the two are rolled through together.
An impression is then transferred from the plate to the paper. Each time a print is pulled, the plate must be inked afresh.
The paper is pressed flat as it slowly dries over a number of days. The process is time-consuming and manual. Each etching is then hand-coloured. It will vary from others in the edition and is an original work of art.
The works are painted in acrylic, oils or water colours on archival paper, board or canvas. These vary widely in size and themes and include botanical art subjects.
Mary draws inspiration and subject matter for all her work from New Zealand’s plants, birds, landscapes, and from the world of nature.
An important theme in all of Mary Taylor’s work is the sense of beauty:
My art is not intended to agitate but to soothe and calm the viewer with a sense of peace and the presence of an inner life.
I offer tribute to certain art styles including the stained glass tradition, medieval panels and tapestries, illustrated manuscripts and Japanese wood-blocks.