Mary Keck is a printmaker. She earned a BFA from Montana State University in 2013. After receiving a degree in forestry years ago, raising two fine sons, and working too hard for 20 years in landscaping and horticulture, she is now finally, an artist. Over the years Mary block printed cards, wove baskets, and practiced calligraphy. On every camping and backpacking trip, she brought watercolors along to capture a bit of the wild beauty.
Mary uses several hand printing processes such as relief, intaglio and serigraphy. In her studio she carves wood or linoleum blocks, etches or engraves copper plates, or layers imagery with various screen print techniques. Each print or card is handcrafted, one at a time. Some are numbered editions, and others are unique monoprints.
My prints are inspired by nature and life experience. Whether I am contemplating an expansive vista or noticing an exquisite texture, the nuances of the natural landscape hold mystery, joy and solace for me. When considering the rise of a ridgeline, the flow of a stream or the flight of a sandhill crane, something in the human mind releases. We slow down and receive energy from the earth. We breathe deeply.
Art can be a raft to carry us when words fail. In navigating the joys and sorrows of life, the constancy and dynamic changes of nature are tangible, solid points of reference.
Like many art forms, printmaking is a translation of images and it fosters openness to alternative outcomes. To me, this embraces the uncertainties in life. After years in horticulture, the exploration of landscape through art provides root strength and firm ground. As a printmaker, I reach for the power that nature has to heal, educate and inspire.