Mary Kirby | Instructor Bio

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  • What is your teaching philosophy?
    My philosophy is based on the belief that everyone is as artist.  I provide materials and demonstrate some technical skills for each artist to add to their toolbox.  Then the artist adds their own style to their project, whatever their style is at the moment.  Since an artist’s style is the result of their experiences, knowledge of technical skills, and amount of practice, their style is always developing.

    How long have you been teaching? At YMP?
    I’ve been a preschool teacher for about 20 years.  Beyond the preschool level, I’ve been an art instructor for 6 years. I’ve been happily teaching at YMP for the last 2 ½ years.

    What is your favorite thing about teaching art?  
    The best part about teaching art, is seeing all the different ideas my students come up with, to add their own style to a project.  I learn something new from them every day.

  • Mary started drawing as a little kid – crayons, markers…the usual.  Her first formal lessons were in high school.  There, she discovered the vast amount of art media that exists, and the endless ways she could use it. She is still on the never-ending mission to learn more. Mary’s first round of college was focused on Early Childhood Education.  She has since taken other college classes, on and off, in art – as well as other subjects. She adds to that by taking classes with other artists.  She has had the opportunity to learn things such as ceramics, bronze sculpture, henna design, collage, figure drawing, cake decorating, face painting, zombie makeup, and encaustics, just to name a few.  She still wants to learn building with cobb and wood carving. On occasion, she holds open houses and art shows/sales at her home studio in West Linn. Mary’s influences are Botticelli and Michelangelo for sculpture because they can make hard surfaces look warm and human, Monet and Van Gogh because their brushstrokes look alive, and Da Vinci because he can do anything.  Oh, and Dory the Fish, because she just keeps swimming.