Maryann Harman

Maryann Harman

Snow Trees image
Maryann with "Snow Trees" - 60" x 40" - 2001

Maryann Harman is a painter who has had solo exhibits in eight major NYC galleries (including the Andre Emmerich Gallery), solo shows in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Detroit, and various cities in Va. along with group exhibits in San Francisco, Miami, Denver, and other major cities. Her work has been collected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, the Mint Museum in Charlotte, N.C., the Hunter Museum in Chattanooga, TN, and the Hines Collection in Boston, MA and many others. She was the recipient of one of the High Museum's "Painting of the Year" awards in Atlanta, GA, the Virginia Museum Fellowship, Virginia Museum, Richmond, VA and the Ninth Annual Savannah Arts Fellowship.

Her paintings have been reviewed in Arts Magazine, Art in America, Art and Architecture, Art in New England, The Washington Post, Birmingham (Michigan) News, and The L.A. Times. For details, see resume on this website.

Most of her early paintings were abstract, based primarily on landscapes. In the last few years, she has begun to integrate figures and structures into her paintings, and in many paintings, there are two separate, yet related, images on one canvas. These landscapes and human interactions were influenced by media images that show the immediacy of the way humans are changing and influencing landscape. Her characteristic style of painting with the suggestive qualities and abbreviated application of the paint that make these images personal are retained in these new images.

Artist's Statement

For years my paintings were derived from landscapes and other natural objects, as I was trying to distill the essence of a landscape scene. I varied my approach, from emphasizing a detail to limiting the colors I used, and went from plein aire painting to abstraction. As I viewed the landscapes I painted, I began to appreciate the way in which landscape and humans interacted and influenced each other. The immediacy of these media images brought home the effect this interaction was having on our environment and how it is changing the scenes I painted.

It would be easy to start showing only the negative results of man's footprint on our scenes; the destruction and removal of nature's legacy, but much of the change is more subtle and indirect, often brining a kind of serendipitous beauty of its own. I wanted to work the energy and timeliness of these images into my landscapes often showing the irony of modern objects in classic scenery settings; A Harley motorcycle cruising through idyllic Blue Ridge settings, a high tech mountain biker struggling through deep foliage, a found doll's head floating in the wilderness of greenery.

By suggesting that these images were derived from the media, I wanted to show how frequently and dramatically we are reminded of the constant shifting of our landscape background. Daily we are reminded by the media images of the awful bending of the landscapes to man's purposes; the destruction of our classic icons of scenic beauty, but we don't see the indirect influences that our daily living has on the tapestry that is the background we live against. Using two, sometimes three images in one painting I have attempted to create a dialog between the images, sometimes contrasting a tranquil scene with a scene of destruction or a detail of the scene

I have continued to employ the techniques of my plein aire painting: staining and suggestive qualities in creating these statements, trying to blend and contrast the image and message.