Who is Mary McCauley?
A key concept in my work is Wabi Sabi, the Japanese expression of the imperfection in nature that makes it beautiful. It also conveys the impermanence of nature and the simple truths that nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. Nature and its imperfections are my inspirations and my goal in art. I use a variety of natural and recycled materials in hopes that their inherent imperfections will strengthen my work and add character to it.
As a mixed media fiber artist, I try to push the definition of “quilt”. My vessels and other 3 dimensional works ARE technically quilts – a top and bottom layer of predominantly fabric, with a middle, filler layer, all held together by stitching. From there, I enjoy messing with the viewer, trying new shapes, surface design techniques, and embellishments, to create forms that fall somewhere between quilting, basketry, painting, and sculpture. My childhood love of pop up books made me wonder if the same paper engineering could be translated to fiber. It can! I love making pop up fiber art where the open and close motion of the work is a key part of the composition.
I am also a mixed media botanical illustrator. I have recently earned my Certification in Botanical Illustration from the Denver Botanic Gardens School of Botanic Art and Illustration. I earned a 2014 Sydney Parkinson Award for excellence in botanical documentation. I am especially fascinated by the "diseased, deformed, and dead" - the highly imperfect, yet captivating, botanic subjects. Snagwood, ghost trees, weeds, invasive species, and scenesent leaves make intriguing subjects for me.