Mary Chura

As a young girl I began drawing -terrible frankly, little horse sketches in the margins of my notebooks. Eventually, I found a how-to guide for drawing horses and other animals, and eventually I moved on to other beloved animals and then to landscapes and scenery around me. Nature themes remain prevalent in my work, and animals have always remained a common subject. I enjoy recreating natural environments to which I’ve been witness, giving them an illustrative feeling through my use of line. My pieces often utilize detailed line work and a variety of line weights working together within a composition.

To me reality exists, even if you decide to stop believing in it. Things we imagine or create may yield to our desires, but reality is stubborn. When I depict subjects that are not realistically scaled or utilize symbols, I am creating something that is to me surreal because these things exist within my imagination and fulfill my desire to emphasize nature. I often mesh surreal elements such as large, scaled plants, animals or faunal remains with a natural landscape. Natural landscapes and symbols are appealing to me because I have always felt drawn to exploring nature. I believe that humans are most connected to themselves when they are connected to nature. Connection to the natural world is one of the most important parts of the human experience to me, and I believe that by depicting aspects of nature as larger than life I am emphasizing the importance of nature to the viewer.

I enjoy depicting humans as well, particularly faces, as I am interested in emotions such as grief, sadness and curiosity and how they can connect us to each other and our environment. When I depict human beings within my pieces they often are not based on anatomical correctness or striving to look realistic, rather they have illustrative elements such as waving lines meant to convey an emotion or atmosphere. Drawing gives me a place to alter my reality and recreate it as a tangible piece. I often use a semi realistic landscape as a starting point and recreate it with new elements that I feel intensify it, such as large, scaled subjects or symbols that have personal meaning. I use the same approach with my depictions of humans, a realistic starting point with added elements such as lines to create an emotion and feeling I want the viewer to understand.

  • Devils Backbone, watercolor and ink, 7.5” X 11.25”, 2021