By Bella Erakko
For Mary Ann Brinkley, the Alliance Gallery featured member artist for March, a walk in the woods can catapult her into a new realm of artistic exploration. Looking down one day in Riverview Park, she noticed how cottonwood leaves—their green chlorophyll decimated by Japanese beetles—became a lacy remnant of their original beauty. She picked up several.
Once home, she soaked, flattened, and book-pressed these leaves. Two weeks later, she removed them from the book, sprayed them with an adhesive and added a fine film of gold glitter. The leaves formed the beginning of a 3D creation. Adding nature’s gumball to the center, decorated with imbedded pearls, Mary Ann took what nature discarded and allowed us to see a hidden inner beauty.
She relates deeply to nature, and her poetry expresses that instinctual contact with the mystery of trees, clouds, outcroppings, changing seasons. One poem she entitled, “My Heart Guides Me” ends with this beautiful expression of love:
All around me Is a celebration of light And the loveliness it creates Every bend in the road Shows a new facet of its radiance So vivid So awe inspiring The whole world is aglow My soul bursts With joy!
Mary Ann keeps a collection of her “joys”—photographs of misty mornings, billowing clouds, fiery sunsets, color-drenched leaves. The image will dictate the medium, usually watercolor or acrylic, but sometimes pen and ink. She truly wants to share this intense love she feels for nature. Though we are not there on the day when she sees something beautiful—an aged Joshua tree, a bus rolling down an autumn-tree’d road, golden wheat burning under a sunny sky with billowing clouds rolling across the vista, she is our camera—and the whole world is aglow.
An opening reception will be held Saturday, March 10, from 5:00 until 8:00 pm. A piece of Mary Ann’s work will be given away in a free drawing held at 6:00. This reception coincides with Hannibal’s Second Saturday Gallery Night.