Mary F. Saunders

Some people take a while to discover and cultivate their artistic talents. For others like Mary Frank Saunders, artistry hits early and becomes a life-long journey. Mary grew up in Virginia and started painting very early in life, taking hours as a little girl to learn about and paint scenes from exotic locations. She was fascinated with Eastern cultures and this carried throughout her life into grade school art classes, an art major at Sweet Briar College, and art studies abroad in Florence, Italy. Mary's art, which she calls "Tropical Expressionism" carries elements of the tropics and Eastern influences incorporating bright colors, intricate textures, and continual layers that attract the eye. Mary is also inspired by places she has lived and traveled to such as Haiti and Mexico. Both places influenced Mary's increased boldness and tropical themes within her paintings. Mary feels her art is "full of color, has wild exuberance and is an escape full of freedom, breeziness, sunniness, and energy". "My paintings depict where I would like to be - out in nature or on a tropical island. I like to create a sense of escapism within each painting." ​Mary lived on Hilton Head Island for 25 years where she painted and worked in commercial art. She created award winning art and design for The Ritz-Carlton Hotels and Resorts. And was the official lifestyle artist, for eight consecutive years, for the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance, one of the top car shows in the nation.