Mary Erickson

AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for April, 2024

Conservationist Mary Erickson, has been painting since childhood. She studied at the University of Bridgeport and Sacred Heart University, and initially followed a career in business management. A move to Florida in 1986 stirred the desire to pursue her love of art so she began an intense, self-directed study of nature and painting, supplemented with week-long painting workshops with contemporary artists until she realized a long held dream, and in 1993 Mary began painting professionally. Mary has maintained studios in Marshville, NC and Venice, FL.

A lifelong conservationist, Mary’s 39 acre residence in North Carolina is slated to be left as an artist retreat and bird sanctuary. It is listed on the North Carolina Birding Trail and can be seen at: www.HighRidgeGardens.org  

“ I purchased the neighboring property to my home in September 2006, giving me close to 40 acres to oversee. That fall, an adjacent 130 acres of woods was “harvested” –cut, bulldozed and burned. As I sat on the hill overlooking the charred remains, I worried where all of the winter and migrating birds would go. I put up feeders all along the fence line to help the birds that came back to find their food and protective tree cover gone. That was the beginning of an all-consuming work in progress!  Now bird feeders are scattered throughout the pastures, trails and woods. We are continually adding nesting boxes, and mow selectively, to give adequate cover and nesting grounds for many different species. We have two year-round ponds and one seasonal wetland, in addition to birdbaths, to provide a bountiful water source. In addition to almost 70 “sight” identified birds, we have deer, raccoon, rabbit, bobcat, possum and fox. Feral cats are trapped and turned in to the local animal rescue. We use pesticides and fertilizer only as a last resort, and then very sparingly, on the property. Mornings in spring host a cacophony of bird song, and on summer nights we listen to the chorus of frogs, crickets and cicadas. My dream is to leave the property as an ongoing artists' retreat and bird sanctuary, so that future generations can enjoy its serene beauty.”

Preferring to work on location, Mary portrays the essence of the coastal landscapes. Her passion and devotion to the marine environs and shorebirds that inhabit it pay homage to her deep love and respect for her subjects. Painting tours have taken her to Spain, Guatemala, Argentina, Ireland, France and throughout the United States. She creates plein air studies then returns to the studio to produce large paintings. Every Erickson print edition includes a special edition of 100 prints used exclusively to raise funds for conservation, preservation, and educational organizations throughout the USA. 

Mary is a Signature Member of  Artists for Conservation n addition to the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) and the Society of Animal Artists, memberships also include the Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionist Society. Mary has served on the board of Big Brothers / Big Sisters, and as an advisor to several national plein air events. She s the founder and organizer of The Nanatuck Group. In the summer she rents a large house in Port Clyde, Maine and shares the experience with other professional artists. Hosting up to 60 artists each summer, daily painting excursions and art talks into the night typify the weeks into early September. 

Learn more about Mary Erickson...

Previously Featured Artists

US Apr, 2024
 
US Mar, 2024
 
US Jan, 2024
 
CA Nov, 2023
 
US Jun, 2023
 
CA May, 2023
 
AU Apr, 2023
 
US Mar, 2023
 
US Feb, 2023
 
CA Jan, 2023
 
CA Dec, 2022
 
US Nov, 2022
 
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