Fields’ art features vibrant colors

Published 8:07 pm Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The bright colors of Mary Fields’ work draw the viewer’s eye to her pastel drawings and acrylic paintings, while hinting at the deeper emotions that she feels for her work.

Vibrant colors invoke a sense of childhood for Fields, but her journey as an artist began far more recently.

“I started painting about four years ago when I was enrolling my daughter for an art class with Chris Hagebak. I thought it looked interesting, so I enrolled myself too,” Fields said. “He introduced me to pastel, and I seemed to take on with that medium really well. From then on, I’ve been working with pastel, and it has worked well for me.”

Those colors remind her of her childhood in India.

“Pastel is very bright, so the colors excite me,” Fields said. “It’s just so bright. I’m from India, and so Indians are colorful people. You can see their clothes and their festivals. To me, that speaks to me a lot. That is why I enjoy working with pastels, and acrylic is the same way.”

Fields said she was born in India and moved to the United States in 2000, though she did not immediately move to LaGrange.

“I was brought up in diversity, and so I grew up with colors around me — like I said, the festivals and the clothing,” Fields said. “It is just very colorful, and if you go visit India, you’ll find out how much that is true. Pastels are something that speak to me. This is something that brings back memories of my childhood and how colors are so important for me.”

She moved to LaGrange with her family and said that she loves the artistic community that she found in the area.

“My husband’s work [brought us to LaGrange],” Fields said. “We moved from Illinois in 2014 to LaGrange. He is a preacher for the Church of Christ. That is how we ended up in LaGrange, and I love it. That is the best thing that happened to me because I found out that I could do art and that I had a talent for it. It was the best move ever.”

Fields specializes in landscapes, florals and portraits, and she said that the local art community — including the Visual Artists Alliance of LaGrange — has been a huge help in her growth as an artist and her ability to exhibit her work.

“This whole LaGrange area is so art savvy,” Fields said. “With VAAL, there is just so much opportunity to do stuff together in classes and studio life that is going right now. I go there regularly and benefit from that. There are constant exhibitions. This year there are supposed to be three or four exhibitions that I could participate in. I have not been still in looking for an opportunity. It is just there for me to go for it.”

She said she enjoys drawing inspiration from scenic locations in the area, like Callaway Gardens and Dowdell’s Knob in Pine Mountain.

Fields plans to submit her work to exhibitions at the LaGrange Art Museum,

The Suffering Artist and a West Point art show later this year. She also plans to teach art to students in elementary through high school at a local homeschool co-op for the 2018-2019 school year.