Mary Conder

Gold Coast Qld

I am a self taught artist, painting since I was little. I grew up in Hobart and now live on the Gold Coast painting full-time. I won Best Acrylic in the 2015 Brisbane Rotary Spectacular and since then have produced and sold many works through galleries and online.

Artworks: 15


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About Mary Conder

Mary Conder

A distinctive and Unique Style by Anna Itkonen

Mary Conder is a visual artist living and working on the Gold Coast. Her distinctive and unique style depicts quintessential Australian sceneries, animals and everyday icons together with pop culture elements and soft, retro colours.

“My [artistic] process often starts with asking myself ‘where would I like to be today?’ It’s usually a wide-open space that I want to be in, and I can have a look around to see what’s there. Not necessarily what’s expected, but what I would like to see there,” Mary described her artistic process. “The idea usually unfolds as I go, the placing of one object determines the next, guided by an overall mood and colour scheme that I have decided on. The imagery I use is drawn from personal experience, from childhood memories right through to current observations and everyday life.”

 

“I’m never trying to make earth shattering statements; I just like to highlight everyday things that often get overlooked. I like telling a story and at the end of the day, each piece usually does that to some degree. Once I have an idea in mind, I then embroider it with all the things I like; certain colour schemes, or particular imagery or animals. The paintings that work best are the ones where I have adhered at all costs (like adding unnecessary elements) to the original vision.”

 

Thematically, Mary’s art work varies from beachscapes to vast open sceneries and reminiscence of townscapes. She chooses the composition to follow her story, interests and mood at the time.  “In the landscape format, I can surround myself with things I find interesting and leave out all the clutter that would probably be there in real life. Depicting ordinary detailed objects against vast spaces of nothing, is what I find most fascinating. So, the finished piece is something that is familiar but at the same time a little unusual. It’s not quite what we see every day, but it’s always where I’d like to be.”

 

While Mary’s art has more than a touch of realism in it, realism is not the purpose, just the vessel. The paintings are constructed of realistic, everyday objects and imagery with a distinctive look of being hand painted and hand crafted. “I prefer my imagery to look a little lumpy and bumpy with just enough realism or detail of ‘pull off’ the idea I’m trying to convey. [I like] to not only tell my story but include plenty of detail, emphasise important things or just have soft suggestions in the background. I like the ordinary, which everyone can relate too, but depicted in a more interesting way.”

 

Animals are a dominating feature in Mary’s art and most of her work has animals in a central place of the composition. These animals are of such importance because more often than not, one of the animals in the piece represents Mary herself. Her painting Such Is Lifefor example is about the dog’s point of view and the dog itself represents her. In The NightwatchmenMary says that she “most definitely is the dalmatian with the colander on this head – having had a 60’s sputnik, space race kind of childhood!” Then again, sometimes the animals are added simply for a sense of life and movement to the painting.

 

Mary, as an artist and an art consumer, places vast amount of importance and emphasis on original art in our everyday lives and environment. “Original art brings depth, character and soul to any surroundings. An original work born of thought and handcrafted with skill will always ignite conversation, pondering, discussion, debate and allows the viewers to step into another world even if just for a moment,” Mary explained her view. Saying this, she has described her art as something which is not about decorating a room, about fashionable interior design trends or specific colours. Her art is about her as an artist, her talent and her artistic expression. “What the viewer gains from my work when they buy an original Mary Conder is me! My take on things that is!”

This was a great article written for the ALA newsletter and it sums up what I am all about. My process often starts with asking myself ‘where would I like to be today?’ It’s usually a wide open space that I want to be in, and I can have a look around to see what’s there. Not necessarily what’s expected, but what I would like to see there. The idea usually unfolds as I go, the placing of one object determines the next, guided by an overall mood and colour scheme that I have decided on. The imagery I use is drawn from personal experience, from childhood memories right through to current observations and everyday life. In the landscape format, I can surround myself with things I find interesting and leave out all the clutter that would probably be there in real life.

I start with the darkest tones and move forward to the lightest, highlighting little ordinary details along the way. Depicting ordinary detailed object against vast spaces of nothing, is what I find most fascinating. So the finished piece is something that is familiar but at the same time a little unusual. It’s not quite what we see everyday, but its always where I’d like to be. Most of my larger works take many weeks to complete as I construct each one from scratch – the perspective, the scale, the light source and shadows, ending in a unique, ‘one off’ original work of art with my distinctive style.

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