GRAND HAVEN NATIVE
Mary Lanka, a Grand Haven native, has always been inspired by Lake Michigan’s beaches and the natural beauty of Western Michigan. Many of her earliest oil paintings depict Lake Michigan in various weather conditions. In fact, her first solo show in 2001 focused on thunderstorms and sunsets. She was able to depict the beautiful and sometimes turbulent changes in atmosphere that can transform the peaceful shoreline into a moody clash of wind and waves.
TIME IN SOUTHWEST COLORADO
An opportunity to relocate to Durango, Colorado, led Mary to seek out fine artist Judy DeVincentis Morgan, a well known artist in the Southwest. Morgan taught Mary the joys of Plein Air painting (painting out in the open air). Previously a studio artist, Mary fell in love with painting outside in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. She learned to develop a fast-handed technique which allowed her to capture the changing light, colors, and atmosphere of painting in the open environment. Although she still loves to paint in the studio with her original style of oil painting, her time spent painting in the San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado has changed the way she paints forever.
CURRENT SUBJECT MATTER
Upon returning to the Grand Haven area after nearly seven years, Mary became a member of the Ottawa Shores Plein Air Painters. Her recent work depicts local scenes around West Michigan. From gardens to beaches, Mary’s renewed appreciation for her hometown is evident in her work. She is thankful to have the ability to paint and gives credit to God for her talent.