Today and in eons past, storytelling is a way for humans to convey events in words, and images; to improvise or embellish, to educate, entertain, preserve culture and instill moral values.
Upon reflection Mary Trent Scott came to realize that her art work is the way she records and tells the stories of her life. Her family circle, the Virginia land, and paintings in Italian churches all summon Mary Trent Scott, inviting her to describe what she sees and lives through drawing, painting and writing. Mary says she is “always imagining pictures in my mind,” and then finds a way to express them in oil and collage.
Mary grew up in Arlington VA where her family toggled between the city and family farms several hours south in rural Patrick County. In 1974, she moved from Arlington to Oakton to what was left of an old dairy farm. There she was inspired to paint the farm, horses, dogs and kids. In the process of grieving the death of a favorite dog, she wrote a story about the pet and illustrated it. Family participation in rearing and showing horses was also fodder for the canvas, recorded in a Grandma Moses sort of way. When her girls got married, she painted scenes of their weddings, those turning points in her life as a parent and in the life of each daughter.
While her family paintings are an emotional response to life events, Mary also incorporates religious imagery into oil paintings of Biblical stories. Her Predella series was inspired by segmented altarpiece story panels in the cathedrals of Europe and by her own faith journey. More recent religious expression took form in collage on paper, resulting in a more contemporary expression.
“Blessings of This Life: An Exhibition of a Family’s Shared Existence” is a show of Mary’s current work at Touchstone Gallery, including oil paintings and a book written from the viewpoint of one of her grandchildren.
Exhibition runs October 4th-27th
Join Mary for a Sunday Afternoon Family Tea. It will be a time to nibble on cookies and sip tea, a time to relax, to allow your imagination to put yourself in Mary’s painted stories where blessings do abound:
October 20 from 3-5PM