Artist In Focus

Mary Serfass

The Devil’s in the Details

Mary can’t remember when art wasn’t a major part of her life. She was born in New York City in 1956 and spent some of her childhood in Palmerton, Pennsylvania.

Mary discovered the intricacies of pen and ink at an early age and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Penn State University in 1978, where she worked in many media including oil, watercolour, stone lithography, etching, charcoal and graphite. Ink has always been her favourite medium, and so she used what she learned by working in other media to improve her technique.

Ink / Col. Pencil / Chromacolour / Gold / Lapis
3 x 1 ¾” / 7,5 x 4,5 cm

St. Johns Eve
Ink / Col. Pencil / 23 k Gold Leaf | 2 x 2 ” / 5 x 5 cm

Mary‘s images are rendered in black and white, using the finest technical pens
available. Colour is often added, using coloured pencil, watercolour or both.
Sometimes she will incorporate a variety of precious metals into her work, and she
also works with shell gold, shell silver and shell palladium. Often, the image itself
will extend onto the mat (because it‘s not fun to always stay in the lines, is it ?). She
often spends more than 100 hours on a single piece.

An Old Spirit
Ink / Col. Pencil | 2 ¼ dia. / 5,5 cm

Ink / Col. Pencil | 2 ½ x 2 ½ / 6,5 x 6,5 cm

Mary became fascinated with miniature art in 1985 and began exhibiting and winning awards in miniature art shows in New Jersey (MASNJ), Washington, DC (MPSGS), Florida (MASF), Georgia (GMAS), Montana (MMAS), Cider Painters of America (CPA), The Hilliard Society (HS) and the Royal Miniature Society (RMS).

Loblolly and Moon
Ink / Col. Pencil | 3 ¾ x 2″ / 9,5 x 5 cm

Between the Lines
Ink / Col. Pencil / Gold |4 x 2 ¾” / 10 x 7 cm

She has exhibited with the World Federation of Miniaturists shows in London, England / Hobart, Tasmania / The Smithsonian in Washington, DC / Burnie, Tasmania / Moscow, Russia / Johannesburg, South Africa.

Ink / Col. Pencil / 23k Gold Leaf, 2 ½ x 3″ / 6,3 x 7,5 cm
The title refers to the gathering of the ents (trees) in J.R.R. Tolkien‘s “The Lord of the Rings”

Mary is a member of the Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society of Washington, DC (MPSGS), The Miniature Art Society of Florida (MASF) and the Cider Painters of America (CPA). In 2015, she was awarded signature membership in the Miniature Artists of America (MAA) and in 2020 she became an exhibiting member in the Australian Society of Miniature Art – Tasmania (ASMA TAS).

Somebody’s Gold
Ink / Col. Pencil / Shell Gold /
Chromacolour | 2 ¾x 2″ / 7 x 5 cm

Little Flame
Ink / Col. Pencil | 2 7/8 x 2 1/8“
7,5 x 5,5 cm

She has been a visual artist for most of her life. When Mary met her husband, Doug, in 1975, he became an enthusiastic supporter. He went to shows with her; they went to museums and concerts. He was an amazing musician. He had a great
sense of colour and composition, and they learned much from each other. They married in 1980, and when their son was born, it was natural for them to share with him the things they loved. It turned out that David has a great artistic sense as well. He watched as she created her work and later started taking photos of subjects he thought she would like.

Her husband Doug and Mary have owned The Snow Goose Gallery in Bethlehem, PA since 1992, and they host The Art of the Miniature, their own international show, each year. And so, here they are, celebrating their 30th Anniversary at the Snow Goose Gallery, with her work, based on David‘s photos, which are based on his observation of her work, in all it’s evolutions. Mary is grateful to her husband, family and friends for their support and she looks forward to learning and growing in her art for many years to come.

By the Light
Ink / Col. Pencil | 2 ¾ x 1″ / 7 x 2,5 cm

Ink / Col. Pencil /Gel.Pen | 2 ½” dia. / 6,5 cm

Mary has received many awards for her works, these are related to her miniatures pictured in this report:

Firedance:  Best Other Subject – Seaside Art Gallery 2021
 An Old Spirit:  Bronze Medal, Landscape, ASMA TAS 2020
 Winner of Viewers Choice, ASMA TAS 2020
 First Place, Mixed Media, MPSGS 2021
 Best Other Subject, Seaside Art Gallery 2022
 Hillside:  First Place Mixed Media, MPSGS 2022
 Tapestry:  Bette Search Memorial Award, CPA 2015
 By the Light:  Honorable Mention, Heartland Art Guild 2018
 Honorable Mention – Drawing, MPSGS 2018
 Excellence in Other Media, CPA 2020
 Viewers Choice Award, ASMA VIC 2021
 Loblolly and Moon:  First Place in Mixed Media, MASF 2016
Images and Text
Mary Serfass, 2022