Mary Tudor, acclaimed Seattle artist, has amassed an impressive body of work: more than 400 large oil paintings created using her proprietary wax blend, PET; which allows for deep texturing that will not crack. Her work has been exhibited in New York, Seattle, Tokyo and Chicago.
Mary is calm, patient and witty. She readily appreciates people and things that have blessed her life. She has a bright spirit that seems to shine out of her surprisingly blue eyes. Not only is she talented; she is fascinating. Her life story could make a best selling a novel: a scientist, landscape architect, research co-author, Peace Corp volunteer, world traveler, environmentalist, philanthropist, mother, cancer survivor, teacher and artist.
It was Mary, the scientist, who questioned the efficacy of the materials available to her as an artist. “I treat my studio as a laboratory. Art and science are the same stuff…ask Leonardo Da Vinci; he will tell you.” Mary quipped. By experimenting with waxes and oil paint, Mary discovered her secret PET formula, Plasticizer-Extender-Texturizer. This substance satisfied her almost impossible criteria:
wax preparation that minimizes toxicity,
application that avoids toxic spraying,
extension of the coverage of oil paint,
deep texture that won’t crack
and a finished canvas that can be rolled up for storing.
Mary, the teacher, has transformed the lives of dozens of students over her twenty years teaching. Her devotion and skill as a teacher is evidenced by the adoration and loyalty of her students. When Mary’s life was threatened by cancer in 2006 her students raised funds to help pay for her treatment.
It is one of Mary’s students, Jeff Speiger, who is ‘paying it forward’ by leading design professionals to Guatemala to teach in week-long workshops for Fotokids.
Although Mary is in her 70s she is not done transforming lives.