Seattle-based artist Mary Iverson has been refining her signature landscape style for the last seven years. Iverson returns for her second release, this time painting the National Park gem Mount Rainier! Captured over the course of two weeks in September of 2015, this piece captures a scenic overlook from iconic Snow Lake, which also gives a hidden view of Mount Rainier. Read on as Iverson gives us the lowdown on this breathtaking piece and be sure to snag your copy here before they are gone!
1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about this painting, is the original still for sale?
Mary Iverson: This piece was created over the course of two weeks in September of 2015. It was painted using oil on canvas. The lines were created by scratching into the surface with an Xacto knife. Yes, at G. Gibson Gallery in Seattle, Washington.
1x: Anything immediate you would like us to highlight about this piece?
Iverson: It’s the first oil painting I’ve done that includes people. In my previous work, I got rid of all the people.
1x: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Iverson: Snow Lake is a gem in Mount Rainier National Park. On the north side of the lake, there is a lovely view of Mount Rainier. On the south side of the lake, there are beautiful reflections of snowfields on the surrounding peaks. I had wanted to hike there for years, so that I could paint the snow’s reflections, and finally made the trip last summer. When I reached the end of the trail, however, I was disappointed to find that there was no snow at Snow Lake! In 2015, Washington State had an unusually low snow pack, due in large part to the effects of global warming. When I got to the lake and saw the lack of snow, I felt very sad. Yet, everyone else at the lake was happy, celebrating the beautiful, unusually hot weather. I decided to paint some of these happy people; my goal was to communicate their nonchalance in the face of climate disaster. So, I exploded Mount Rainier in the background, sunk some containers in the lake, and portrayed the main figure as being happily unaware of the disaster occurring around him.
1x: What is unique about this piece compared with some of your other work?
Iverson: It is my first volcano painting!
1x: Why should people buy this print?
Iverson: This print is gorgeous and humorous, but it also makes an important statement about US policy toward climate change.
1x: Describe the piece in one gut reaction word.
1x: When did you first begin this style with landscapes integrated with drafting type elements incorporated over top?
Iverson: This body of work began in 2009.
1x: How did that concept come about?
Iverson: My concerns about the environment were growing, and I wanted to create work that reflected these feelings. I did some work with drawing and collage, cutting up environmental magazines, which led me to the container/landscape combination.
2009 Works by Mary Iverson
1x: How have you seen the style evolve since you began?
Iverson: My palette has become more saturated, and I have been bolder with the scratched lines. Also, I have added the figure.
1x: What strides do you feel you’ve made in your work recently?
Iverson: Bringing the figure into the work has helped me communicate my message of concern for the environment. I am really proud of a recent feature I did for Foreign Policy Magazine. Also, the Boston Review used several of my paintings to illustrate a forum on theAnthropocene, which is the name of the current geological era in which humans are altering the planet.
1x: Are there any artists new or old that you’ve been finding inspiration in as of late?
Iverson: Latey, I’ve been looking at the work of Frederic Edwin Church. He paints great volcanoes, and the sense of atmosphere in his work is fantastic.
1x: Any other big plans for the spring and summer you want to share?
Iverson: In July, I will be painting a mural for the city of Seattle, as part of a project along a transit corridor. Gage Hamilton of Portland’s Forest for the Trees mural festival is organizing the project. I also plan to visit a few national parks; perhaps Crater Lake and/or Glacier.