Welcome to my website
This is the place to view the many sides of my art practice. For example, in PORTFOLIO, you will discover my observational flower paintings and my relief prints. In COMMISSIONS you'll find a selection of my house portraits, caricatures and, a pricing schedule. I am also an art instructor and all of my current class offerings will be posted in ART CLASSES with dates, locations, and registration information on this website.
All works are available for sale unless otherwise noted. Please inquire about price and a studio viewing. At the bottom of this page is a small list of places where you can view and buy my art.
Mary Esch has been a practicing artist for 30 years in the Twin Cites and known for her incisive drawing style, portraiture, landscape-based visual narratives, altered fairy tales, and limited edition wall-paper. She cut her teeth at Speedboat Gallery in the 80’s, she was refined in the 90’s at Gallery Rebelloso and the Walker Art Center and, had a blast exhibiting in New York especially in 2000 when her painting was used as a jumping off point for three plays, “nude in three acts” at Access Gallery. Currently she paints wicked little portraits, strange landscapes, and botanical subjects. Mary also spends time teaching observational drawing and painting at area institutions. Her honors include a Bush, a Jerome, and Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowships. Her works are in the collections of the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Art, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Franklin Art Works, and private collections internationally.
Whether I create a painting or a line drawing, most of my pictures depict a portion of or an entire circuitous journey on foot. Sometimes up, sometimes down, left, right , or all-over in a repeating visual pattern, assemblies of characters slog through landscapes, while each character is in some stage of unmasking. Sometimes I reveal just the resting point of a journey hoping to catch the vulnerability of a contemplative moment. To create my pictorial narrative I do a reading of a biblical fable or fairytale, daydream about it for a while, then, I use a technique that the Surrealists used called automata. The definition of automata is drawing without a premeditated idea. I’m compelled by the inner-search of fable characters and how they often set out on foot to find answers. I seek to create honest, humorous works that reveal the dark underbelly of feminism, and hopefully, push the boundaries of what is appropriate to depict.