Friday, July 27, 2012

Mary Foote - Painter

Spinning oil on canvas 20”x20”
Mary Foote

Name: Mary Foote
City/State: Saint Paul, MN
Website: profile:
Facebook page:
Twitter: @maryfoote


Minnesota born and raised artist and painter Mary Foote received her BA from St. Olaf College studying studio art and women’s studies. In 2005 she was awarded an apprenticeship with the college. Foote’s work has been shown in various locations in Minnesota including, the Soap Factory Gallery in Minneapolis, the Edina Art Center of Edina, and in the South Central Minnesota Studio ArTour in Northfield. Foote resides and works in Saint Paul.

Trees oil on canvas 48”x48”

Tell me about your work? What are you currently working on? How is this different from past projects?

I work focus on the sense of touch using color, line and texture. I believe that a viewer’s experience is enhanced greatly when allowed to touch the art. Growing up I always wanted to touch things to improve my understanding. My paintings are literally layer upon layer of oil paint.

I am hoping to experiment with acrylic paints and see how I can use mediums to create an interesting texture. The reason I’m looking into this is because of the toxicity of oil paint and I recently had a baby and I don’t want him breathing in the fumes of the oil paint while we’re at the studio. I’m anticipating a new direction coming out of the experimentation - however touch will have to be a major element of what I do.

Felix oil on canvas 36”x48”

How did you decide to become an artist?

I don’t think it was a conscious decision - I just did it. It’s always been a part of my life. I’ve always been compelled to make things. It seemed a natural fit. With encouragement and support from my husband I’ve been able to make art making my career.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist? 

My 9th grade art teacher Mrs. Hauck said, “Draw what you see, not what you know.”

Many artists struggle to find ways to sell their art.  How do you sell your work?  How do you market yourself?
I struggle with this everyday. I haven’t come up with a sure way to sell my work. I apply for as many shows as I can to get my work out there. When I realized that my paintings are not a spontaneous buy I relaxed about selling things quicker. I use my website, I’ve also made of point of going to art events and introduce myself to at least one person - bring my business card and talk to them. Marketing myself is the hardest part of the job for me.

Who are some of the Minnesota artists you enjoy?
Jill Enestvedt
Wendell Arneson
Jan Schoger
Gretchen Dreisbach
Anne Labovitz

If I were to follow you around to see art in Minnesota, which places would we go? What would we see?
Soap Factory Gallery
Northrup King Building Open Studio
The Dow Building
Altered Esthetics

In addition to, where do you go online for good art resources, whether to find a new artist, or to see what is going on in the art world locally and otherwise? 

Someday when I have time again (baby) to look here’s where I’m starting...

What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I just had a show close at the Spring Street Tavern. My studio will be open for the Do The Dow tour in November.

I am part of the Altered Esthetics August 2012 show, "Anger, Angst, and Art" running from 8/2/12-8/30/12.  Opening reception is Friday 8/3/12 from 7-10PM.

There is also an artists' discussion on Saturday 8/18 from 1-3PM.

Mary Foote

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