Born in Montana Mary started art studies after becoming a Canadian in 1965 at the Nelson School of Art. She then went to the San Francisco Art Institute, returned to the Victoria College of art and continued her art studies as an oil painter with an established English painter Jack Wilkinson. Aside from nature itself, Emily Carr and Van Gogh were and continue to be her major source of inspiration.
She eventually moved to Thetis Island where she started painting in watercolour, thrilled to find that watercolour painting captured the light, the passion and the lushness of the Gulf Island. In 2011 she stumbled onto a new medium – hand dyed wool. She began creating needle felted works of art that felt to her to be imbued with all the passion and spirit of her watercolour painting. She calls them her ‘Felt Experience’ Paintings. After many shows as a watercolourist, she had her first show as Fiber Artist at the Chemainus Theatre Art Gallery. Recently she has found a fellow islander who uses local Thetis Island spalted wood to make shadow box frames for her pieces.