Presentation of Mary Chaplin

My name is Mary Chaplin, I am a professional painter.

I had been a figurative artist  for years, specialist mainly in pastel technique when I underwent a synchronistical experience that changed my way of expressing my feelings in my art. The light shining through stained glass windows reflecting on old stones in a church grabbed my attention and became instantly my new source of inspiration. It was so beautiful and the moment I experienced gave me so much warmth that I wanted to live it again and again with each stroke of my brush as I tried to capture its ephemeral beauty on canvas. I wanted to create a bridge of light between my feelings and my public. The canvas became a means to materialize the light and share the emotion I felt this special day. Obviously, the gift I received has changed also my way of looking at Nature and my way of expressing it on canvas. I still paint Nature I love, landscapes, flowers, water but in a different way.

This experience with light started a new way of feeling and expressing myself in my work and was the starting point of new research and analysis of the subjects which are fleeting moments of light at different times of the day, seasons and in different places. Studying the colours of the light, defragmentation of shapes, blur effects. Painting takes me on a path of meditation, introspection.
The meaning of the finished painting is not in the object you see but in the feelings that surround it. What it says is what I can not say with words, light is my language.

Each painting is a step in a spiritual journey that I create in colour and light as a celebration of the ineffable. Shimmering old paving stones painted by shadows and fleeting sunlight appear on my canvas and I tell their stories that I call my « reflexions » (the word in the French language means ‘thoughts”) is the term that refers to the source my inspiration and summarizes the result of my work.

My travels, my thoughts, I create bridges, crossings
A life, a story, places, an artistic work …
The series’ silent reflections « came from an » encounter « with the light in the chapel of St Edith Bois de Cise. I treat the light in my work, as I paint water, sometimes dissociating the surface element with the mystery of the deep. Also as I can not find the words to express the inexpressible emotion that drives my art, I consider my paintings as gateways to where the inexpressible can be expressed. My trips are for me synonymous with moments of silence. The work thus embodies the « permanence of the ephemeral »…

My series «wandering reflections » was born from the observation of light in the Chapel of Hamelet near Favières in a village 5 km from the Bay of the Somme where I spent my  childhood. It is a place where I regularly go to contemplate; I like the simplicity of the place. One day I observed how the three dimensional rays of colored light  projected onto  the pebbles old stones, bricks and the ground  it was a dreamlike landscape where the soul then could walk, wander and take shape. This is how the series « the wandering reflections » was born.

 I was born in Abbeville (North of France), I lived there and I know very well  the Church Saint Sepulcre, it is a place where I often go to draw inspiration. The light that sustains the work of Alfred Manessier’s stained glass windows bathes the building in great spirituality. One day I was fixed fascinated by particularly strong light that formed an interesting shadowy geometry. From this new experience was born the « Series Oxymoron » … enlightened shadow…