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Mary Zio

Abstract art is what interests me. I want to see things I’ve never seen before, or things presented in a new way. The revolutionary artists from the beginning of the twentieth century into the 1960s inspire and amaze me with their views on the world and their artworks. The Abstract Expressionists of the 1950s are like superstars to me. Their inspiring creative artworks, like nothing ever seen before, have been a huge influence on my work. Freedom from rules and regulations. Abstract art can go in any direction you want, it’s free, that freedom gives the artist unlimited artistic possibilities. Endless subject matter, because it’s “anti-matter”, it’s limitless and exciting.

Color combinations and interactions within a painting, and how the viewer interprets those interactions, compels me to keep returning to the easel. Abstract art entices the viewer to engage. It isn’t easy for some to look at abstract artwork, some people want to be told what it is that they are looking at. They try to make sense of the artwork by assigning images to something “real”. Abstract demands that they stop, and look at the artwork in an unbiased fashion, forgetting any preconceived notions of what it may be, and accept it for what it is. Colors dancing, or quietly claiming their existence on the canvas, there is a mystery to be revealed. An alternative language to be discovered, the relationship between color, movement, and form, no “subject matter “ needed, pure artistic expression. This is what keeps me motivated to paint. 

I would describe myself as an abstract expressionist painter.

More about Mary

Mary Zio graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Art from Purchase College, outside of NY City in 1989. Studying all aspects of art, concentrating in Printmaking and Art History (had the pleasure of taking numerous classes with world renowned, Irving Sandler) and studied with such artists as Leonard Stokes (student of Josef Albers), Murray Zimiles, Margot Lovejoy, and had a two year apprenticeship with Bruce Bleach (internationally known Printmaker and painter).  When I was an art student, I quickly fell in love with all aspects of printmaking (intaglio, etching, monotype, silkscreen, lithography, woodcut, offset and paper making). I was instantly fascinated with the process of creating art, appreciating the step by step process in order to achieve the final result. Printmaking led to painting, by way of the creation of monotypes. “The freedom of painting and the process of printmaking, all rolled into one, creating monotypes led to directly painting on canvas, no need of a press, but I still think like a printmaker, and approach the canvas in that fashion.”

Over the last couple of years, acrylic painting has become Mary's favorite art medium. "Layering color, the use of numerous paintings mediums, playing with different brush strokes and techniques, textures, and under paintings , I have discovered for myself just how diverse painting can be". The use of color and the dynamic brush strokes are a important elements in Mary's work. "I try to implement feeling and movement into my work, the subject matter may or may not be apparent, if there is even one, as much of my work is abstraction. I love to work the abstract style, I do not like to be 'contained ' by realism, I want to create something new. I prefer abstract art because it invites the viewer to come to their own conclusions about the artwork, there are no set rules or preconceived ideas that are imposed on the viewer. Painting in the abstract style gives me immeasurable freedom, I may start out with an idea, a theme, a general idea of composition and color palette, but at some point of the painting process, the painting itself will take over the process and dictate what direction it wants to go in, that is always the greatest moment in the process, and the most exciting!  Over the years, Mary's artworks have been displayed at various galleries and shops in New York and North Carolina, including the Everson Museum in Syracuse, N.Y.. In 2016, Mary opened Phthalo Blue Art Gallery in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C.. “The gallery was fun, and working with more than forty other artists was great, but I realized that running a gallery was not my passion, my passion was in the creative process, not running a business.” 

Her current work can be seen at All About Art, on Bald Head Island , N.C., Landmark Sothebys International Realty in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., Landmark Sothebys International Realty In Southport, N.C., and on You can also see Mary’s artwork throughout the 2017 Southern Living Idea Home, on Bald Head Island, where the owner/builder commissioned twenty-four permanent artworks for the home.