Hi! I’m Mary Gwyn, (its that 2 first name thing!). I love painting with just about any tool but spend most of my time with oil, watercolor, colored pencil and silverpoint. My teaching is about helping newcomers dive in, rusty painters get back in the swing and the experienced artist perfect a new technique. I teach botanical-style nature painting. The beauty of growing things can make the busy-ness of life go away for a while!

Mary Gwyn Bowen, RN, BFA, MA

Artist’s Statement

Art is a lifelong journey that can be summed up in the seasonal world of nature. The dark cold of winter gives way to the sunrise of spring, to a new day, new life and the healing power of art. Nature is our reminder that life is an ever changing journey where spring always comes. Nature is the focus of my art.

The secret of magic is kept within nature.  I learned this very early in life as I tottered along behind my grandmother in her seemingly endless garden of flowers, or when holding the hand of my great aunt as we went for bird watching walks. Each flower painting is a remembrance of the healing that can be found in a garden, the hope of renewal, the joy of simple beauty.  The bird paintings are the expression of a child’s wonder at these fascinating little creatures that know the secret of flying. My paintings transport me back to those happy childhood memories of learning about the magic of nature.  Each painting shares that child’s wonder with others.

Art has the power to heal.  Art can inspire peace, restore hope, deflect fear.  Art can turn sadness into joy.  Inspired by the research of others, I sought to also show through my own research, that art is a tool for healing.  It was encouraging to see the beauty of the effects art had on patients, nurses, doctors and other staff of a cardiac care unit in The Art to Heart Project at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

My desire, as an artist, is to see my art make a difference in a positive way, by sharing the memories of a child when life was new and fascinating.  Nature through the magical eyes of a child’s remembrance is a reminder that spring will come again with hope for a new day.

Artist’s Biography

Mary Gwyn Bowen is an artist, registered nurse and art educator.  In her art, she focuses on the beauty and color of nature. Whether it is the magical beauty of flowers and birds or the dramatic play of light on water, nature provides a wealth of inspiration for her art.  Mary Gwyn paints the beauty of birds and flowers in her garden and in the wild.  Botanical-style painting is a favorite subject she loves to teach.  Wildlife photography is a newly added passion that blends in perfectly with the subjects of her painting and teaching.

Mary Gwyn obtained a degree in nursing from Excelsior College, Albany, NY, a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors at the Corcoran College of Art and Design George Washington University, Washington, D.C., and a Master of Arts in Art Education from the University of Florida.  She is the past recipient of the Cecil Wallace Fordham Award for the Visual Arts, Dallas, TX.  And a Fellow in the Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Evidenced Based Nursing Research Fellowship where she completed The Art to Heart Project later published in the September 2015 issue of MED/SURG Nursing.

A member of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA), Mary Gwyn devotes her time to painting the flowers, nature and birds of West Tennessee, where she grew up, and the surrounding region, exploring beautiful natural places and taking lots of photos! And she shares her joy in art by teaching the botanical painting techniques she uses in her work.  Currently, she teaches adult painting workshops at Watkins College of Art of Belmont University and Cheekwood Estate and Museum in Nashville, TN, The Ice House Gallery, Mayfield, KY and Northpark Studio of the Arts, Jackson, TN and other venues.  Her art is featured in galleries, shops and private collections.

Mary Gwyn is originally from Dyersburg, Tennessee and makes her home in Jackson, TN.

In the studio

What People Say

Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.

Edgar Degas

I shut my eyes in order to see.

Paul Gauguin

Nobody sees a flower–really–it is so small it takes time–and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time.

Georgia O’Keeffe

Let’s Paint something together.