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Mary Aslin

Meet Mary Aslin from San Juan Capistrano, CA. Mary was born in Salt Lake City, Utah.  After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Washington in Seattle, she worked as a cartographer, eventually returning to her first love of representational painting, completing private and public commission paintings. In the following years, she continued to refine her skills, studying with renowned artists, and at the Gage Academy of Art in Seattle and at the Watts Atelier in Encinitas, CA.  She has received numerous awards for her paintings and her collectors have summarized the experience that many have viewing her art: “Light, so much light…and drama with tranquility”. She currently has a studio in Laguna Beach, CA

Preferred Medium: Soft Pastel

Favorite Tools?: My fingers!

What would you call your ‘style’? I call it painterly realism, or it could also be called representational.

What are you currently working on? I am currently working on two floral still lifes for a bridal studio which are commission pieces.



What is a favorite piece of art you created and why?  My favorite piece is one I finished in June and was on display at the Festival of Arts and the title is “Invocation.” It is a 72 inches high and 48 inch wide pastel painting…which is huge for pastel. But it just needed to be that large to convey the beauty of the scene. The light and atmosphere was perfect when I posed my model and it conveys everything I love about painting…it is a beautiful subject, with beautiful light, and this lovely young barefoot woman is seeking something of beauty….loved every moment of this painting.

Who are your art heroes? Joaquin Sorolla (historic); Daniel Gerhartz and Rose Frantzen

What qualities make your art distinctively you? My work has an atmospheric, etheral quality (or so I’m told!)


Where do you create? I create plein air studies in my garden in San Juan Capistrano and do larger studio pieces in my studio in Laguna Beach

When do you create? I used to work from about noon to 6:30, but I have begun to shift my day forward, starting in my studio between 9 and 10 AM and ending at about 5 or 6 PM. And that is just painting time. The other marketing oriented work and creative planning takes place before or after studio work.

Do you sketch or keep an idea journal?I always sketch and also write goals down!

What do you do when you hit a creative block? Well, that doesn’t usually happen. I have way more ideas than I have time to paint them!

Do you have any special techniques your would like to share? My start to the painting contains allthe DNA necessary for conveying the idea…it is loose and abstract, and I bring it to a representational finish.


Beautiful Distraction

Do you teach? Yes, I teach a workshop or two every year and I enjoy it. Articulating—in understandable words–the visual language of painting is very challenging but insightful. And I really enjoy helping students make leaps in their own understanding and progress. I have about 1 spot left for the one workshop I have scheduled so far this year, which is “Accentuating the Light”: Creating and painting your own still life”, held in my studio in Laguna Beach on October 29, 30 and 31.

What do you listen to when you create? Anything Chopin. I also enjoy silence.

What other things do you like to do creatively?I love to cook and yes, I love to write too.

See more of Mary’s work at

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