Born in Scotland, but raised in Canada, Mary Dorland has always had an affinity for art. Drawing and painting were an early passion. She spent a number of years in advertising for the medical and pharmaceutical industry, working with graphic artists, copywriters and media agencies.
She began to study art in 1996, experimenting in mixed media, but quickly choosing her favorite mediums, pastel and oil. "My painting is so much about the quality of light. Both of these mediums give me the tools to give life to my work. When it's all about the light you have a whole world to explore".
Mary has received numerous portrait commissions and awards. She enjoys painting landscapes in the Charlevoix and Kamouraska regions of Quebec.
Mary Dorland is a member of the Ottawa Art Association and is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of Eastern Canada.
My paintings are about contrast –between bright red poppies and a green field, between the last light on a far sky and the foreground buildings already in shadow, or between the winter sunlight outside a window and the objects on a window sill. Often it is an interesting light pattern that motivates me to start a painting, a bit of drama that draws me to the subject. I use the geometry of the subject – the road in the landscape or the placement of objects on a table – to travel into a painting.
I paint loosely, trying to capture my initial enthusiasm for the subject as quickly as possible. My drafting skills give my paintings a strong structural underbelly that contains the loose brushstrokes and captures the mood of my subject at a certain time and place.