Crestview artist Mary McShane invites those who view her work currently on display at the library to interpret it as they please. "Paintings are to be seen and explored, finding more in them every time a person looks at them," the former Laurel Hill School art teacher said. "My paintings are not completely explained."


My fellow architecture majors and I took college art classes just to have the freedom to create stuff for the sheer fun of it.



Everything we did in design lab had to have a form following a function. "I like it" was not an acceptable reason for designing something. But in art class, we were free to have creative fun.



But that didn't stop the art majors from reading deep, hidden meanings into our prints or drawings, which always gave us a good guffaw.



Similarly, Crestview artist Mary McShane invites those who view her work currently on display at the library to interpret it as they please.



"Paintings are to be seen and explored, finding more in them every time a person looks at them," the former Laurel Hill School art teacher said. "My paintings are not completely explained."



With her interest now focused primarily on acrylic paint and collage, McShane presents an exhibition filled with color and motion. Horses gallop and dancers twirl across her canvases.



In "Ghosts From Our Past," figures emerge from a swirl of vibrant color, while others remain more subtle. I found 12, but there may be more. I'll study it again soon to see.



"These are paintings that are more experimental in nature," McShane said. "I put paint down and different materials, some kind of paper, and paint with it, and then figure out what to do with it.



"It's making a problem and then figuring out how to solve it. It's a lot like math, but with math there's only one right answer. With art there are many answers."



The viewer is part of the equation.



"Different people can get a whole different interpretation," McShane said. "I just like the painting to have a little mystery in it."



Want to go?



Paintings by Crestview artist Mary McShane are on exhibit through June at the Crestview Public Library.



Contact News Bulletin Arts & Entertainment Editor Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or brianh@crestviewbulletin.com. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.