The Hippo


May 27, 2020








Greater Salem Artists Association Winter Show 

When: Thursday, Nov. 30, and Friday, Dec. 1, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 2, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Where: Kelley Library, 234 Main St., Salem 
More info:

A chance to show
Salem-area artists present winter art show

By Angie Sykeny

 Salem artist MaryLou Sears is one of about 50 Greater Salem Artist Association members who will show and sell their work at the group’s annual Winter Show, happening Thursday, Nov. 30, through Saturday, Dec. 2, at Kelley Library in Salem. 

A retired art teacher, Sears has been a GSAA member for 11 years and does primarily landscapes with oil paint and occasionally acrylic paint. Her work depicts all kinds of New England vistas, including mountain, water and snow scenes. 
“It’s mostly things that catch my eye,” she said. “I know right away when I see something that I want to paint and that I think would make a beautiful painting.” 
For the show, artists can submit up to three works in one of the four medium categories: watercolor, oils, acrylics and mixed media. Two established local artists will judge the show and name the first, second and third place winning pieces in each category. The judges score each  piece based on composition, skill with the medium, uniqueness and ability to express emotion. 
“The show always tends to bring out the best in the artists,”said Nancy Pond, GSAA president and a featured artist. “This isn’t just art that looks like something you could buy at Walmart. There is some extraordinary art that will blow your mind.”  
Sears will present three paintings in the oils category. One is a painting of her family’s farm in northern New Hampshire with sunflowers in front of it. Another is a winter scene of her home with snow falling. For the third painting, Sears broke out of the landscape mold and did a still life of a boat filled with buoys that she came across in Rye. 
“The boat painting is the most different thing I’ve done. It’s outside, but it’s technically a still life, not a landscape, because there’s no sea around it. It’s just a close-up of the buoys,” she said. “There were so many different colored buoys — reds, golds, greens and blues. It was the colors that really attracted me to it.” 
Pond will present three works in the mixed media category. She experiments with all kinds of media, but her latest endeavor is impressionistic watercolor base paintings with colored ink over the top. 
“The chemical reactions that happened between the ink and the watercolor, and with using different kinds of paper, fascinated me,” she said. “I’ve never seen anything else quite like it. Other people use watercolor and ink together, but it’s usually for things like illustrations; it isn’t the same as what I do with it.” 
Her inspiration, she said, is nature in New Hampshire. Her work includes landscapes and “small scapes,” which focus on a small piece of an outdoor scene, such as a branch of apples or a group of leaves. 
At the show, artists will have cards and prints for sale as well as their original works, and visitors will have a chance to win some of the cards and prints in a series of raffles. Additionally, there will be an exhibit featuring art created by kids from local elementary schools. 
An opening reception will be held on Friday evening, during which nearly all of the featured artists will be present to discuss their work and answer questions. As long as the show is open, there will be at least three artists on site to welcome the visitors. 
Pond said one of her favorite things about the show is the opportunity to share her art and engage with the public. 
“As an artist, you don’t often have a lot of people around you. Artists are solitary people, until they start talking about their art,” she said. “I get very excited talking about my art and other people’s art. I could go on forever.” 
“I love showing people my work,” Sears added. “That’s part of the fun — not keeping it to yourself, but sharing it with other people. Seeing someone win one of your prints or buy one of your paintings is the best feeling.” 

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