About Mary



Mary Ellis LaGarde

 Mary was inspired to become an artist in high school by one of her teachers, Sister Mary Leonardine Hoover.  Sister Leonardine was a Catholic nun who dedicated her life to helping students understand and appreciate the history of art.  

At the age of 16, Mary was commissioned by a local hospital in West Virginia to paint a 20′ by 20′ mural for its children’s ward.

As an artist, Mary has the unique ability to paint with both her left hand and her right hand, sometimes using a brush in both hands at the same time.  

She is fascinated by the Venetian method of oil painting and uses oils, pigments, glazes, and techniques as similar as possible to those used by the Renaissance Masters.

Mary begins by drawing her subject in charcoal directly onto the canvas.  She then covers the under-drawing with an under-painting or grisaille.  After that, she spends weeks and sometimes months adding layer-after-layer of pigments and glazes working from the dark pigments to the lights.  

In addition to being an artist, Mary has worked for more than a decade as a successful trial lawyer.  During her legal career, Mary has been featured as a legal commentator on CNN, Good Morning America, Dateline, Nightline, MSNBC, and various local news stations.

Mary is an active member of the Oil Painters of America and the Portrait Society of America.


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Representational Artist