Mary Isham Watercolors

       Color inspires Florence painter and fabric artist Mary Isham, who is a spring-summer-fall resident of Albany Township in Maine. Isham was the featured artist with a solo exhibition in our gallery during March, 2008. If you joined us for the popular annual "Australia Day" event you may recall meeting the artist near the Drover's Shed, when she set up her spinning wheel to demonstrate fabric art.

       Isham is a multi-media artist who also describes herself as "multi-geographic," bringing her own perspective to both fiber art and watercolors. Her work celebrates the variety of flora and fauna surrounding her during summer months in Albany Township, Maine and her winter and spring home in Florence, Arizona -- as well as the vast stretch of United States and points on the journey in between."

       "All my life I have been drawn to color, and I don't paint to sell -- not anymore -- I paint for me! I've focused on watercolors for 30 years and worked with fiber for the past 25 years. Fiber sculpture is new, and so is working with pastels - which I just began to experiment with during the summer of 2007. In a way, knitting and weaving are like painting -- but with fiber -- a different and sometimes more complicated art form than painting with watercolors."

        "During summers in Maine I paint the ocean. I have a connection to the rocks and water. Well, rocks and water and mountains and waterfalls and sand. New England has the White Mountains, the Green Mountains, the Blue Mountains… all of these ranges named for colors. They call them mountains, but compared to Arizona they're hills -- mountains here are awesome!"

"In Arizona I have visited Dead Horse and Catalina State Parks for their surrounding mountains -- artistically they're all so different. Then during our months in Arizona I paint the dry streambeds and waterfalls where water once was present. Queen Creek and Silver King Wash here at the Arboretum are among what attracts me, even when they're dry, I still find they are a powerful expression of water."

"I enjoy being at the Arboretum because of its peacefulness, its light and shadow and changeable landscapes. From a small cactus flower to the large Magma Ridge, there is always something to inspire. It has been a personal joy seeing the Arboretum grow over the years. Truly, this is an Arizona Treasure."

                                        Contact the artist by email or by phone at 602-421-1148, or by writing to Mary Isham, Caliente Casa Del Sol, 3526 North Chaparral, Florence, AZ, 85232. Her summer postal address is 1006 Vernon Street, Albany Township, Maine, 04217.