West Sussex artist Mary Hite offers her Animal Magic

Felpham artist Mary Hite has used the pandemic to develop a new approach to her wildlife art.

Thursday, 21st January 2021, 12:00 pm
Work by Mary Hite
Work by Mary Hite

Mary has started working in black and white, framed acrylic on black canvas – a series she is calling Animal Magic.

She is not having an actual online exhibition: “But I do sell on my website http://maryhitepaintings.co.uk and anyone interested in my work can contact me.”

Painting on black canvas has been a great way to relive past safaris in an era where travel just isn’t possible, Mary says.

“I love painting anyway, and we usually travel a lot, so this has been an opportunity for me to really get down and do something different.

“I did a zebra on a black canvas because a zebra is black and white anyway and I just quite liked the idea of a black canvas.

“And it worked well so I bought a number of black canvases and looked through my safari photos and started doing them in black and white. I really enjoyed doing it – and I had the time to do it.

“To start with, I painted the canvas black and then I saw that you could get black canvases.

“It has just been something different for me, and rather than calling them Tiger or Elephant or whatever the animal, I have called them whatever the animal is doing. I did one of a deer and called it Towering.

“I have got a lion called Reigning and one of monkeys which I have called Preening.”

In the meantime, Mary is hoping that things will open up again by the summer sufficiently for her to revive her happy tradition of holding a joint exhibition in Arundel with her friend Jeanette Clarke – a tradition which goes back more than 25 years but which was sadly and inevitably broken in 2020.

“I just hope it is going to be possible. I really missed it last year.

“We have booked it from July 31 to August 6. We always try to do the first week in August. It will be at the Norfolk Centre in Arundel. It is good fun.

“We are good friends – even though we don’t actually see each other a lot during the year.

“But we have done this for such a long time now.

“It started because she invited me to join her in putting up some paintings in her house as an exhibition.

“I did that for three or four years and then she moved and we started exhibiting at the old St Nicholas Hall in Arundel which has been pulled down now, and then we moved to the Norfolk Centre.”

It’s something to look forward to – at a difficult time.

“This was the first December that we have not been away for about 14 years.

“I find the winter very long.

“We usually go away to Jamaica for November and December for about three weeks and try to get some winter sunshine.

“But I know we are very lucky.

“We have got each other; we have got a reasonable garden; and we are nice and near the sea.”

Mary’s new black canvases are available for sale as originals via her website: maryhitepaintings.co.uk. She has sold a couple so far.