My name is Mary MacIlvain (capital i, lower case l) and I live by a large lake in central Connecticut. My art is an exploration of the place where my inner and outer worlds meet. What I am trying to express in my art are my feelings at one moment in time and my impressions of life. My art is unique in that it spans many different types of media and is not limited to a singular focus. I also have an intuitive approach to color that gives my work a distinct look.
I am inspired by many things… the memory of a special moment, poetry, words, rocks, the ocean, forgotten places, trees, the changing light, the smile of a friend, the juxtaposition of unrelated things, sunsets, the sacred in the ordinary, interesting conversations, change, and new beginnings. My art is a physical record of where I have been and who I am becoming. I believe that every day is a new day and brings new gifts if we are open to receiving them.
Thoughts about Living the Creative Life
Did you ever wonder how you got to where you are now? The creative path is not a linear path… there are an infinite number of steps that lead in an equal number of directions. There is no one right way to do things and you can change course whenever you need to. That is how you grow. That is how your creative spirit evolves. There may be times when you cannot bring yourself to create and yet the desire to create permeates your very being. Those are the times when ideas slowly rise up from inside of you and inspiration is right around the corner waiting to be tapped into like a wellspring.
I did not always know that I was an artist. Becoming an artist is something that happened as a gradual awakening in me as an adult. Learning that I did not have to paint or draw something as realistic as a photograph opened up the floodgates for me. Creating art as a means of self expression is very gratifying and it is a way of communicating your feelings with others. The beautiful part of this is that different people can see different things in your art. One person may come away with an understanding of life and the universality of existence. Another person may simply see the joy and love with which you created your art.
My life has become greatly enriched since I immersed myself in the process of creating art. I look at things in a different way, seeing beauty and inspiration in the smallest thing, from a leaf on the sidewalk to a chance reflection in a window or a puddle of water after the rain. It is as if someone had opened a huge door for me that was closed. And my feelings are more open now instead of being locked up inside me to hide my sensitivity. Creating art has helped me to get in touch with my feelings and this has helped me to express my feelings to others and be more open with people who are important me. Being an artist has given me the courage to speak up and talk about what matters to me. Being an artist makes me feel so alive.
Mary MacIlvain Resume
Somerset Publications Bella Grace, issue 12, My Pajama Day, article
1000 Quilt Inspirations by Sandra Sider, Light to Dark, quilt (page 128)
The Geography of Loss by Patti Digh, Far Away, quilt (page 92)
Taking Off with Flying Geese by Carolyn Johnson, Fly Me to the Stars, quilt
Quilting Today, Using a Computer as a Design Tool, article
Floral Lattice Quilt, Greater Hartford Quilt Retreat, Deep River, CT
Angel Christmas Ornaments, Wednesday Night Crafters, East Hampton, CT
Crocheted Wire Beaded Necklace, Wednesday Night Crafters, East Hampton, CT
Paper Piecing Housewarming Mini Quilt, Heart of the Valley Quilt Retreat, Hebron, CT
Beginner Sewing, Terrific Thursdays after school program, Gildersleeve School, Portland, CT
Bargello Vest, Close to Home, Glastonbury, CT
JAM Art Quilters Annual Library Show, Newington, CT
Brownstone Arts Annual Show, Quarry Ridge, Portland, CT
Middletown Art Guild Annual Show, Wesleyan University Zilka Gallery, Middletown, CT
New England Images, New England Quilt Guild Juried Show, Lowell, MA
Greater Hartford Quilt Guild Biannual Show, various locations, CT