Filled with colors, dimension, and a bit of wonder—San Francisco based illustrator and printmaker, Mary Finlayson explores the concept of being inside beautifully.
With a gravitas of pop art influences and Spanish printmaking styles, Finlayson investigates the stories that interiors contain, how they are composed and how they reflect our histories.Her background as an artist is in both painting and printmaking. She has Bachelor of Fine Arts from Queen’s University, a Graduate Degree in Art Therapy from the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute as well an Arts Education Degree from the University of British Columbia.
The work pays homage to the iconic works of David Hockney, Henri Matisse, and Stuart Davis by borrowing similar bright color palettes, repetitive patterns and forms simplified, yet still creating complex, tightly constructed compositions unique to her own style. “The spaces we inhabit are filled with expressions of our lives,” Mary tells us about her work as a whole, “they are at times unique, odd, simple, cluttered, complex or ordinary, but regardless, are always personal.”
A typography of dwellings, Finlayson’s work examines the viewer’s interest—almost like shopping for furniture. The viewer is tested on their likes and dislikes—the works portray how environments impact identity. In her landscapes and interiors her imagery evokes the memory of place—often a departure from what is real. Her use of vivid color and energetic line suggest feelings of gesture and movement that help enliven emotional responses to otherwise ordinary, mundane, private settings.
When asked about how she comes up with these homescapes, “I photograph homes and objects I visit then create flat compositions that skew and distort the compositions my paintings are based on. Usually, a lot changes between where I begin and where the painting ends up, this is most true for the color. I am more interested in capturing the feeling of a space than I am in depicting it strictly as it appears. So the spaces are partly real and partly imagined.”
// See the exhibition in full at Glass Rice, 680 8th Street, Suite 240B, SoMa, January 25—February 23, 2019; glassrice.com/interiors. Photography by Erica Chan Coffman. Prints courtesy of Glass Rice.