Mary Spencer

Remembering the spiral of an iridescent shell or those sunfish I caught as a child, I draw and paint sea creatures that swim or crawl on a crusty seabed impressed with marks and bones of life before. Mollusks quickly became my favorite models from a “brainless” clam to the giant octopus described by Sy Montgomery. “It can change color and shape. It can taste with its skin. It has a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake and ink like an old fashioned pen, and it can pour a 100 -pound body through an opening smaller than an orange.” A true escape artist. Houdini would be jealous.

Wind sometimes disturbs my ocean creatures, nautiloids, squids, mollusks; strange creatures big and small, interacting in dark or refreshing blue waters and tidal pools. As reminders of the past, fossils present a tangible gift to our knowledge of animal, mineral and plant life. As many species evolved over millions of years and others disappeared, we remember that we are all but a fragile presence on the planet’s shell. The sea swells dark and deep, holding fathomless secrets…. fossilized yet luminous.
— Mary Spencer

Mary Spencer received her BS from Nazareth College of Rochester, New York and her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She taught at Sheridan College of Applied Arts and Technology in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. She was a proofer and then journeyman dotetcher working with wet etch and dry photo masking techniques for Boston area printing companies.