About Mary Kemp.

Artist statement and biographical details.
I am an impressionist artist who loves the seaside.

Portrait 2018
I live in Cambridgeshire with my classic car enthusiast husband, a picture framer, and we both work from a blue painted studio in the garden.

Like a lot of artists I’ve drawn and painted all of my life. My mother was a great influence so I suspect it's in my blood.

Even though I knew I wanted to be an artist, my parents said it was too risky, and so I trained as a nurse at Guy’s hospital in London. And then I went to art school for a year in Salisbury.

I paint virtually full time now, although I do work as a receptionist one day a week, but I call that my hobby! When things got busy on the painting front I realised I needed to ditch the paid job, but I liked it so much I compromised and kept the one day.

How I work.


Everything I see is inspiration. The world, particularly the natural world, can be such a visual feast can’t it? I suppose family life too is an inspiration. And of course family pets hence the many paintings of Grace the border collie who seems to have sneaked into my work.

I try to draw a lot because the things you see and draw help you to develop.

I can’t bring myself to let go of certain principles so that fixes my style. I do alter the way I work occasionally making it less or more detailed and change the mood of colours but…
A painting often starts from a drawing, or sometimes a photo. I plan it in black and white, and then draw it on the canvas which I’ve usually painted a colour to highlight the main colours of the painting. Then I just get on with it, blocking in the main shapes checking colour and tone and line along the way. I try not to fuss too much, and finish before it’s finished if you see what I mean. It’s left hanging around for a while and then if it looks ok a week or so later it’s finished and I sign it.

And for those of you who are interested this is what my painting day looks like.

Wake up at 7.00 to the sound of Radio 5 Live. Cup of tea, and get up. Wear painting clothes! After breakfast I go straight to the studio and try not to think of anything else besides painting. I will paint until about 1pm. I rarely paint after that because for some reason what I do after lunch time is never as good as what I do beforehand. I change my clothes and in the afternoon I will do all the other stuff, keeping up with my internet presence, getting artwork ready for shipping, doing the paperwork, and of course a bit of domestic drudgery. I stop at 6.00 if not earlier. I might do an hour on the computer later on, but leave a computer free buffer before bed.

Studio brushes

And this is how I have come to paint the paintings you see today.

As the years gallop by I find my children have suddenly become adults and I can only see the children they once were, and the times we had as a family, from a distance.

Nothing dreadful has happened along the way. Family and friends are still talking to me and we're in touch often. It's just that the children have grown up and friends have grown older, and I think a lot of my painting harks back to the time when we were a young family and I was so busy I found no time to paint at all. A quick sketch was all that I could manage.
I don't want those times back again. It was such hard work, so I'm content to see the next generation growing up and to enjoy their company, and of course paint a picture or two.

All these thoughts have inspired a new series of paintings, still featuring the subject that is at the heart of all my painting, the seaside, but the figures of my family and friends have become more in the background, as I strive to capture the feelings of those long lost days.

But there is a joyous addition to my painting subjects these days, and that is Grace the border collie, who seems to have found her way into my art as well as the family's hearts.

You may have seen my work here.

• Art in the Heart Gallery in Peterborough
• VK Gallery in St. Ives, Huntingdon
• Haddenham Gallery, Cambridgeshire
• Peterborough Open Studios
• Peckover House
• Buckenham Gallery, Southwold.
• Stamford Arts Centre
• Thomas Batley Theatre, Huddersfield
• John Lewis , Department Store, Peterborough.
• Eastern Open Exhibition,
• South Holland Open, Spalding
• Peterborough Open Exhibition.