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Mary Jane Brewster


Mary Jane Brewster paints almost exclusively portraits.  Her images are created from live models, from photographs, and completely from  her imagination. 


Brewster  was born in Chicago Illinois, moved to Hillsborough California when she was six, then returned to Chicago after her first year of high school. She worked as an artist for Howard Studios in Chicago where she painted pictures for hotels.  Eventually she became bored with the work, and enrolled as a student at the Ray Vogue School of Design, then changed directions and switched to the Art Institute of Chicago, then later to the University of Missouri.  


Her restless soul led her to travel in Europe on a Vespa, then across the US, Canada, and Mexico, eventually settling in the San Francisco Bay Area of California where she became a working artist.  While sometimes distracted by life's challenges,  she has always considered herself an artist, and always strives to return to her painting.


The artist states;  "My artwork has always been my number one purpose in life. There have been times when I have gone dry, but I always yearned to paint again.  Now there is nothing in the way. I am in good health and I intend to paint till I dry up or drop!  I had wonderful experiences and learned so much as a student at the Art Institute of Chicago.  Then I moved to California and was a full time struggling artist working at galleries and frame shops, and doing art restoration. 


 I did a series of Mexican paintings and was very successful. After the Mexican painting series, I floundered around doing a variety of work.   I married an abusive man, and felt trapped and hopeless. One day the TV was turned to Pro Wrestling, and I started to watch.  As I watched I became inspired by the wrestlers, and somehow found the strength to get a divorce.


I started to paint the wonderful men who gave me new hope and strength. I started to go to the wrestling matches alone at night and I was not afraid. Eventually I had photos taken of the paintings and took the photos to the matches to show the men. I was let in their dressing rooms and talked personally with many of the great stars. That was one of the best times of my life.


Now I paint people.  My latest work is a series of paintings of woman and children.  I love the expressiveness and emotional intent of faces and the human form.  I find other subjects lack the fundamental spirit of the human soul.


Painting with a crowd around me is nice.  I enjoy the interaction and I learn from their input.  I would like to think that I have a positive influence on a few people, opening new eyes to art.  I often hear ďIím going to go home and try that or I didnít know that could be doneĒ. 


Now I go to the Gertrude School every week to paint with a live model!  It is so good; itís like eating desert.  Each week I feel that I am growing as an artist and advancing rapidly."


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