Originally from Vancouver, B.C., Mary Finlayson has been painting all her life, but found a more practical use for her skills early on in her career. Working as an Art Therapist/Art Teacher for many years, she finally pivoted to becoming a full time painter in 2017. “Although I always knew I wanted to be an artist, it took a long time for me to find the confidence and self assurance to actually go ahead with it. At a certain point I just ran out of reasons why not to and had to find out for myself if it was something I could actually do or not.”
It’s no surprise that with Mary’s art therapy background, her series of interior paintings seem to have a calming yet energizing effect. When it comes to her process of starting a new piece, she takes inspiration from real life objects and settings that make her happy. “I pull inspiration from everywhere... nature, plants and flowers, old books and magazines - no one place. I also take a lot of photos. When sketching I reference my photos a lot and come up with a pretty clear idea of what a painting will be through the drawing process. My work is based on real interiors as well as imagined.”
"I love stumbling across things that someone else deemed important and decided to hold on to. I like to give these objects a special place, in my art and home also."
Having an eye for color and pattern, Mary’s work is reflective of her own home, and her home is reflective of her paintings. Filling personal spaces up with meaningful items serves as a way to garner inspiration and to make home feel like home. “I have many trinkets and collectibles that I’ve gathered over the years from travels abroad or have found at flea markets, etc. Some of my favorite things are kid’s drawings which have a special naiveté to them or small rocks I found in my daughter’s jacket. I love stumbling across things that someone else deemed important and decided to hold on to. I like to give these objects a special place, in my art and home also.”
When it comes to the most important element of making a space feel cozy, “I like there to be a presence of life and an evident story about the people who live there.”
View Mary's website and shop her full product line at PaintedMary.com.