During one of the bleakest years of our lifetime, Mary Hanson reacts with color. The COVID-19 pandemic inspired Mary to create a series of paintings that brings the light out of the darkest of times.
“I don’t just paint [pretty] scenes,” Mary said. “I paint my feelings and emotions into my work. For me, it's healing and freeing during times of pain and isolation.”
Mary has completed 16 of the [COVID] 19 paintings since beginning her venture in March. She hopes to auction the pieces post-COVID, when family and friends can gather together to raise money for community programs.
“I want the whole world to paint,” Mary said. “I think it gives people peace and ease in their lives. Anyone can do it. It just takes a little bit of courage and some paint.”
Mary began her infatuation with color as a child. Her parents allowed her creative reign over the walls in her room and her passion only flourished from there. The self-taught artist brought the same creative energy into her own home in Kirkwood. Each room has its own theme and personality. Even the smallest nuances of her home, such as doorknobs, get a dash of color.
“Nothing escapes my brush,” Mary said. “Our home is like a lava lamp. The walls are always changing their form and color.”
But as her walls began to fill, she looked for additional canvas space. Mary has created hundreds of murals and paintings in the buildings and homes of Kirkwood. From the Mary Culver Home and PJ’s Tavern to her community’s living room walls, Mary has left her mark.
“I feel like so often people want to see something beautiful in their home but don’t feel confident in creating something themselves,” Mary said. “So, I let them direct me and I don’t leave until they love the result. It’s an incredible feeling to put someone’s dreams on a wall.”