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Mary Erickson has been painting since she can remember. She grew up sketching the beaches of Long Island Sound in Connecticut and has always been able to find beauty in her surroundings, whether it be along a southern shore or in the Rocky Mountains of Montana. She sold her first painting to Gulf+Western Industries in Stamford, Connecticut at 13.

Raised in Connecticut, Mary Erickson studied at the University of Bridgeport and Sacred Heart University, and initially pursued a career in business. Her passion for painting, and a move to Florida in 1986, stirred the desire to pursue art as a career. Finally, she realized a long held dream, and in 1993, Mary began painting professionally.

Preferring to work on location, in the tradition of painters since the French Impressionists of the 1800's, Mary continues to seek new opportunities to capture moments in time and place on canvas.

Since 1998 Mary has divided her time between Marshville, N.C. and Venice, Fla. Plein air painting tours have taken her to Spain, Montana, California, Oregon, Arizona, the Florida Panhandle, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the Smoky Mountains, and Hilton Head, S.C. She travels extensively, either with her husband, John Edmondson, or with other artists.

Mary's day begins before sunrise, and ends after the last sunset painting. A weeklong painting tour will end in exhaustion, and the unique accomplishment of creating anywhere from 10 to 20 paintings for each artist!

Whether solitary excursions (like hiking through the Smokies with her golden retriever, Petey) or group efforts with other professionals or students, Mary believes these painting trips are essential to an artist's career and growth. "Besides, they're fun!" she says. Future trips are planned to Argentina, Maine, Ireland and Scotland.

Mary has studied with contemporary masters Don Demers, Tim Theis, Ken Backhaus, Louise DeMore and John Seerey-Lester. She is a founding member of SPAA (Southern Plein Air Artists,) and a member of The Group of Eight, a Florida-based alliance that paints and shows together, intent on recording the scenery of a rapidly vanishing natural Florida. Memberships also include the Oil Painters of America, the American Impressionist Society, the American Society of Marine Painters.

Mary's work is collected throughout the United States and Europe. Her largest project to date is the creation of four murals for the Panama City Mall in Panama City, Fla. It was installed in August 2004.

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