Mary Lou Strode

  • Categories: Painting, Silk Screen
  • Member Since: 1981

Majoring in art in the late fifties at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, my alma mater, meant painting in an abstract expressionist style, the predominant style of that period.  My painting teacher was from southern California and had studied art at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles under Sr. Corita, later known as Corita Kent.  Kent’s silk screen prints were bold, expressionistic, colorful abstractions that used slogans from popular culture to express spiritual ideas.  One could say that she was also mingling elements of pop art that was beginning to be a cultural force in the art world.

I received my BFA degree in 1960 and soon afterward I moved to Washington County, NY, where the rural landscape surrounded me.  Intrigued by its beauty I began to paint from nature.  For me it was a case of beginning all over again.  I wanted to paint what I saw and at the same time make a composition that had an abstract quality to it.

With a nod to Corita Kent my other art is silk screen printing.  I keep it simple by using wax paper stencils and oil base inks. Years ago I collaborated with another VAM member, Virginia McNeice, to make silk screen posters that advertised exhibits in our Small Gallery. My original silk screen note cards are for sale in our store.