Mary Fedden can change the way you look at things, and she certainly lacks the recognition she deserves on this side of the Atlantic. Her rich and imaginitive still life and landscape paintings have been a huge inspiration and an influence in my own art.
Her perspective on the ordinary objects of life, transforming them into pure beauty, and her amazing eye for composition make her work unique and immediately recognizable...and her use of color is dazzling.
On those rare occasions that I've had "empty canvas syndrome", this is the book that I've taken refuge in...I come away from looking through its magical pages with a fresh vision and a renewed spirit.
The text is excellent, divided into chapters of her early work ('40's-'60's), later work ('72-'94), and a biographical section. It also has a list of her exhibits, 5 photos, 11 black and white drawings, and 59 paintings in full color...which get more radiant in the 1990's, when she was in her late 70's (she was born in 1915).
Some of my favorites are "Red Still Life with Hopjes Tin", "Mel's Bunch", which is a jug full of carnations with 3 onions on a table, and "The Fierce Girl and her Roses". My only complaint would be that there are no sizes to the work, but taking a guess from the photos of her studio, they seem to be in the 20 to 30 inch range.
To quote the book: "Mary Fedden's painting reflects her personality in its capacious love for the the objects of its attention"...let Mary change how you view your universe with her joyous work...you'll find yourself looking at a mustard pot in a new way, and maybe wanting to paint it !