Artist Biography : Presentation

French artist Mary Chaplin left Picardy and now lives and works in Cany-Barville, closed to the Côte d’Albâtre in Normandy.

Her studio overlooks the beautiful river Durdent and is situated near the market square.
For more than twenty five years she has worked as a self-taught professional artist, always inspired by nature and by the varying effects of light. She started her career by painting figurative scenes she saw around her in the French countryside. Her first artworks were representations of landscapes, gardens, forests, rivers or lakes,
which allowed her to explore different techniques, including pastel, oil, acrylic and watercolor.
However, both her life and career reached a turning point in 2005 when she witnessed the ‘holy light’ in a chapel she was visiting; she was deeply touched and inspired by the beauty of the reflections coming from the stained-glass windows, and thus she started painting them, calling them her ‘reflections’, or, in French, ‘méditations’.
After that experience in the chapel, her will to convey the ephemeral nature of the light she captures, and its soothing warmth, became stronger. This new artistic birth enabled her to follow new paths in which she explores light’s numerous and everchanging facets.

This deeply influenced her artistic style and work as it gave them a new dimension, shifting from a figurative representation of light in landscapes and still life to an abstract and more personal and metaphorical interpretation and appropriation of light’s fugacity.

You can find in her work subtle influences of Joan Mitchell or Claude Monet in her  own interpretation, impression of Nature.
Since her beginnings, Mary Chaplin’s work has been published in several articles in the press and in specialized art magazines. It also has been broadcasted on television and is regularly exhibited in festivals dedicated to sacred art as well as in art galleries throughout different countries, including France, Belgium and England.

Artist Statement

Through my art, I transfer the deep emotions that I feel are conveyed by light. The observation of light, when it is transformed after passing through stained-glass windows or when it is reflected on the surface of water, is the starting point of my artwork. These observations take me on a path of meditation in which each canvas becomes a spiritual journey in and towards light, as a metaphor for the everchanging and fluctuating nature of life.

I also wish my artwork to serve as an invitation for others to join me in this meditation on the ephemeral nature of light, on its simplicity, beauty and frailty, as a metaphor for life in general. On this abstract path, even darkness becomes a pretext for more light. And light, darkness, as well as the colors they create, are the way I have found to truly express my inner self. Through abstract representations of light, I travel; my only compass is my heart and, as an artist, I feel I am free to let my inspiration take me where it wishes to. This is why I use various techniques and materials, from pastel to oil, from paper to canvases or Plexiglas, so that I can convey my emotions and meditations in the most suitable way possible

I travel along wandering paths ranging from figurative to non-figurative depending on my mood, I’m not trying to follow a trend, I express my emotions, I listen to my heart and for me that freedom is the primary meaning for a professional artist.

Information about possible future course dates at 0624724916. Please send me your details if you are interested through the contact page of my site.
Important: Only registration with payment of a deposit is taken into account. In case of cancellation the deposit is not returnable. Thank you for your understanding

Mary  Chaplin Professionnal artist, registered with “Maison des Artistes”

Studio visits and prices  on request.

My Works in 4 sections :

My abstract Impressionism :

I call them « States of Natures Soul »: It took me many years to manage to
paint the emotion that my garden brings me, emotion I feel and flower’s
perfume I breathe …
Between impressionism and abstraction, between influences of Joan
Mitchell and Claude Monet, with the force of the strokes, gesture and
color, I appropriate my own language, a very personal style for a
contemporary vision of my garden.
Discover them in the « My works » menu at the top of this page.



Silent reflections : 

In 2005 the work of Mary Chaplin  took on a great U turn when sitting quietly in a small chapel in a  picturesque coastal village , Bois de Cise, she watched the light patterns through the stained glass windows moving slowly over the old flag stone floor. She knew she had to try to capture the light, colours and movement and hurried back to her studio these ephemeral images swirling in her head!

The resulting abstract works she called her reflections (in French meditations)

Series of paintings were created influenced by the light , colour and textures from the chapel, later from the contrasting shadows cast by the pews , alters, architecture  and stonework found in churches and cathedrals throughout Europe, all subtly different but all integrating  her personal and metaphorical interpretation and appropriation of light’s fugacity. The research of Mary Chaplin leads one on a path of discovery of a new type of orphism, but towards a real appropriation of the subject.


Oxymorons :

The continuing series Oxymorons was born, initially a figurative representation of light that became a way of feeling things in abstraction, the architectural structure of the lines and light: becoming a metaphor for life, expressing her feelings towards her father who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, sadness, distress, frustration, questioning the very meaning of life.










Water reflections :

From childhood memories growing up amongst the marshes and streams by
the beautiful and majestic Bay of the Somme in my native Picardy , you
can see here my more figurative work capturing the power and movement of
breaking waves. This work has been enhanced and developed since my move
to Cany-Barville on the Cote D’Albatre in Normandy, birthplace of


Even though paintings can be seen on internet, there is no substitute for seeing them in my gallery.

All works and texts are protected © Adagp Paris, reproduction is forbidden.