|Graffiti by Mary Whyte, watercolor painting.
Mary Whyte: Weekend With the Masters Instructor
Born in Ohio in 1953, Mary Whyte grew up with all the rural
Midwest has to offer. She graduated from Tyler School of Art, in Philadelphia,
in 1976 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and teaching certification.
Whyte has since earned national recognition as an artist
and, although she works in both watercolor and oil, she is most recognized for
her figurative watercolor paintings. A resident of Johns Island, South Carolina, Whyte
garners much of her inspiration from the Gullah descendents of coastal Carolina
slaves who number among her most prominent subjects. Whyte's portraits grace
hundreds of corporate, university, and private collections, and her paintings
have been included in numerous exhibitions. Several museums have purchased her
portraits for their permanent collections, including the Greenville County
Museum of Art, in Greenville, South Carolina, and the Gibbes Museum of Art, in
Charleston, South Carolina.
An avid teacher, writer, and art juror, Whyte has conducted
painting workshops in different locations across the country for the past 20
years. Several of her articles have been featured inAmerican Artist and
Watercolor magazines. Whyte's instructional book, Watercolor for the Serious
Beginner (Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, New York), is now in its
seventh printing. An Artist's Way of Seeing (Wyrick & Company, Charleston,
South Carolina), by Whyte, was published in 2005.
Whyte has illustrated more than a dozen children's books,
having several projects published by Chronicle Books and Dial Books. Many of
the illustrations are now in collections of private individuals and
institutions, including the Mazza Museum: International Art from Picture Books
at the University of Findlay, in Ohio.
1991, Whyte and her husband Smith Coleman, moved to an island on the South
Carolina coast and developed close friendships within the African-American
community. Soon after her arrival and quite by accident, she met Alfreda
LaBoard, and her intrepid group of senior citizens who gather weekly to make quilts
and socialize in a small rural church. Longtime residents of Johns Island and
descendants of slaves, these women would change the artist's life and paintings
in astonishing and unexpected ways. Whyte's book,Alfreda's World (Wyrick &
Company, Charleston, South Carolina), is about the shared experiences and
values that deepened the friendship between the two remarkable women. The story
is told in the touching watercolors and drawings that the artist created over a
Mary Whyte is represented by Coleman Fine Art, in
Charleston, South Carolina. For more information on the artist, visit her
Return to the Weekend With the Masters Meet & Greet.