Historic Pensacola painting by Mary Anne Sweida at Blue Morning Gallery

Mary Anne Sweida

Acrylics and Pen & Ink

My love of drawing and painting began in the first grade. While other kids were collecting baseball cards, Sister Mary Jean introduced us to art … through “Art Cards.” I was fascinated by the Impressionists: Monet, Pissaro, Renoir and, finally, Van Gogh. But it was Renoir’s “A Girl with a Watering Can” that became my favorite.

The light and colors of the Impressionists spoke to me. In their paintings, they saw as I saw. It wasn’t until age 11 that it was discovered I was severely near-sighted. I had been squinting my way through school! Imagine my surprise, with my first eyeglasses, at seeing the individual leaves on the trees, or people’s faces from a distance.

My maternal grandfather was an amateur cartoonist. My uncle, a painter, gave me my first set of oils. In a high school art class, I discovered acrylics, which allow me to paint quickly, usually in a soft-edge technique.

Today when I paint, my brain and my hand still see as I did as a child … light, color, shape … not detail.  So stand back and see as I see.