Sunday, November 18, 2012

Some new things I'm trying out in the studio...

Drawing Demos

I'm having a great time teaching a figure drawing class this semester.  Here are some quick demos I've done in class in nupastel and conte crayon.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Weekend Graphite Drawing

This weekend I started this new drawing of my friend Maddie.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

Group Exhibition Gallery Ho NYC

I was recently in a group show in Gallery Ho in NYC with three of my paintings.  There was a great turnout opening night and I was delighted to be a part of the show with my great friend Melissa Anderson, who is pictured with me below.

Here I am with my Genevieve, who modeled for this painting.

Southwest Art Article: 21 Under 31, September 2012 issue

Here is the article the page published about my work that appeared in Southwest Art Magazine:

21 Under 31 | Mary Sauer: 2012 Young & Emerging Artist

Mary Sauer, Megan, oil figure painting
Mary Sauer, Megan, oil, 40 x 30.
Art Education: Bachelor of fine arts in illustration from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. I was also very fortunate to apprentice with master painter William Whitaker for two years. After that I continued my education at the Art Students League of New York and at the Grand Central Academy of Art.
Style: Representational figure painting with a direct, painterly approach.
Creative Spark: Walking through the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the other great museums and galleries in Manhattan. This gives me great insight into how the old masters rendered light and form as well as what other contemporary representational artists are doing today.
Second-Choice Career: To own a bakery. I love decorating cakes and cupcakes, baking bread, and, most of all, making all different kinds of cookies. I also am in love with playing the organ. Rocking out on the huge pipe organ at Westminster Abbey for the Queen would be pretty awesome.
One Thing Most People Don’t Know About You: I’m actually legally blind. Luckily they have perfected contacts and glasses to where they don’t need to be an inch thick anymore—the glasses I had as a kid were huge.
Biggest Fear: Water bugs—those giant, mutant cockroach things.
Pet Peeve: All of the stuff that you have to do as a painter that isn’t painting. That’s why I married my husband. He helps me with everything from building frames, stretching canvases, and shipping paintings to taking reference photos and making awesome custom wooden palettes. He’s basically my personal assistant, even though he has his own full-time job.
Future Goals: I would love to have a solo show in the not-too-distant future.
Price Range: $1,200 to $5,000.

American Art Collector August 2012 Cover

I am very excited to have my painting chosen to be on the cover of American Art Collector Magazine for August's issue!

new painting

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A new color study

I recently went on a trip to see the museums in Boston and was really struck by the Sargent and Zorn paintings at the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum and Abbott Thayers at the Boston Museum of Fine art. I enjoy working out these little 4 x 6 color studies pre-painting and trying to capture a similar type of fresh painterliness.  I especially like the colors in this one.  

Scott Waddell Workshop at Grand Central Academy

This was a fun painting workshop where we focused on how to paint color and form on the figure.  First we drew the model with graphite, then we transferred it to a small 3x5 sized piece of linen, and did a color study.

After practicing with the color study, we enlarged and transferred the drawing to a larger panel.  Mine was a 16x20 sized stretched linen from Utrecht.  Here is the finished result.

I especially enjoy the looseness on this section of the painting.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Drawing Intensive Workshop at GCA Week 1

Here is my first cast drawing!  I am excited to get to take this workshop taught by Angela Cunningham, Carla Crawford and Colleen Barry. 
Here you can see the progress after the first day: block in using my H pencil to measure a half way point and where my height to width ratio corresponded to the whole and broke down to halves and quarters. Start rough with thick lines and gradually sculpt your lines down with an eraser until it looks as close as possible to what you see.  I recently got this great eraser called a MonoZero eraser from a Japanese bookstore near Bryant Park.  It works like a mechanical pencil and is shaped like a long, thin cylindrical tube.  Works great for thinning those lines down.
The next day I took my kneaded eraser and rolled it across the drawing to lighten my lines.  This makes it easier to add the final, crisp ones.
This is Angela's demonstration to me of how to draw exactly where the line should go after spending a couple days figuring out where things should be.  Once you know for sure, you draw straight little 1/4 inch increments with exact angles for a sharp, precise line. I would probably switch to a 2H pencil for this.
Now you go over the entire drawing again with your razor sharp pencil and begin flattening your shadows.
Pick a mid range value for your shadow areas and try your hardest to shade them in as evenly as possible in little 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch increments.  Color in every little speck of white left and use a kneaded eraser to pull out every little dark dot.  This can take hours. 

Once all your shadows are flattened, begin modeling!  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Me and David on the Highline

This is one of my favorite places in the city: the Highline.  It's this amazing new park that was built on top of an old railway bridge that goes from 30th to 14th street in Chelsea.  The top is covered in beautiful plants and landscaped to expose some of the original rail way ties.  If you look one way, you see the cool shops down 10th Ave, if you look the other way, you see the Hudson River.  This is right next to where I work, so I get to come up during my lunch or walk down it after on my way to Trader Joe's to pick up some tasty and organic groceries.

Upcoming Group Show at Gallery HO NYC

I just found out that my painting, "Genevieve" will be in the show "Stop Staring II: Portraits", a summer exhibition at Gallery Ho in Chelsea.  My friend Melissa Anderson will also have some work up, as well as three other great artists--so everyone mark your calenders for the opening on July 12th from 6-8pm.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A.I.R. Gallery "Wish You Were Here 11"

Tonight is the opening for "Wish You Were Here 11" at A.I.R. Gallery.  I will be posting a picture of my piece that is in the show.  

For Immediate Release
Wish You Were Here 11
Reception: Thurs., June 21, 6pm to 8pm
DUMBO 1st Thursday: Thurs., July 5, 6pm to 9pm

NEW YORK, NY, JUNE 2012 — A.I.R. Gallery is pleased to announce Wish You Were Here 11,on view in Gallery III from June 21 – July 15, 2012.

Wish You Were Here 11 includes original works by more than 300 artists. The 4” x 6” artworks, as well as diptychs and triptychs based on this size, are created and donated by hundreds of national and international artists including A.I.R. Gallery artists. These cards range widely in style and media and encompass a broad spectrum of themes. Each card is signed and dated, often with a message from the artist to the collector.

A.I.R. Gallery was founded in 1972 as the first artist–run, not–for–profit gallery for women artists in the United States. A.I.R. Gallery would like to thank all the artists who made this exhibition possible through their generous donations.
A.I.R. Gallery is located at 111 Front Street, #228 in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn. Gallery hours: Wed. – Sun., 11am to 6pm. For directions please visit For more information please contact Gallery Director, Julie Lohnes at
Image details:
Above right: Nancy Morrow, "Heartland", acrylic and gouache on paper, 4" x 6", 2012

Above: Maxine Henryson, “Mother and Child in Madurai, India, 2006,” archival pigment print, 4” x 6”, 2006
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A.I.R. Gallery – Celebrating 40 years of advocating for women in the visual arts.

Portrait Society of America Best in Show

I was very excited to be chosen "Best in Show" this year by the Portrait Society of America. It was a great conference this year and there were a lot of great pieces.