Mary Brooking
Maine artist


Let me tell you a story. 

Maybe fifteen years ago, people started asking me to teach them how to paint landscapes. I always answered,

"How can I do that? I have to teach myself to paint every time I do it!" 

But people persisted in asking, and I started wondering... 

A wise artist/teacher friend advised: "You know color, composition, value, the building blocks. Try teaching those things." This is what I did, with chunky brushes and non-threatening watercolor paper. 


Beginning in the rear gallery of the Saccarappa Art Collective, then the Community Center, then in my own gallery/event space, Continuum For Creativity, and finally in my Dana Warp Mill studio, all of which are or were located in Westbrook, Maine, my students explored landscape painting - sometimes in as many as five classes per week, plus private students now and then, and more recently twice a month at Piper Shores Assisted Living. 

I have loved every teaching day. Every time class started, I was ON. Even though I've never been much of a "routine" kind of person, the schedule grounded me. With teaching paying the rent, I never worried about sales - although many sales happened along the way, and of those sales a significant number were generated through connections that had formed either directly through, or by way of, my teaching. 

Better yet, and more importantly, my students were wonderful people. Good friendships were formed, based on my identity as an artist and painting teacher. 

Ten happy years went by, and then - still happily, things changed. 


Well for one thing, I reached "a certain age" - a Social Security age. I saw it coming, of course, and quietly considered my response for several years. Concurrently, changes started arising in my work, beginning a few years back. My landscapes grew steadily more abstract - and more and more I didn't want to paint landscapes at all, but abstract compositions. 

I explored new directions between classes, but it took a while to feel authentic. Would you believe I actually created a pseudonym for my earliest abstract explorations? I did, and I kept the whole thing very hush-hush, like a spy! I'm still not exhibiting my abstract paintings (on this page you see only one of my more recent, more abstract landscapes) - but I am holed up in my studio, busily and joyfully creating a body of new work. For when? I'll let you know when I do.

So this is my focus as I begin the final quarter (I guess!) of my life, and so -


I don't rule out a weekend workshop sometime. 
I’m still teaching at Piper Shores, a couple times per month. I love that gig.