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Mary Jo Hatch has been painting in oil for more than 30 years. She first came to painting while teaching at a university in Copenhagen, Denmark, when her colleagues complained that her work-life balance was off-kilter. When she admitted to having done a little painting in the past, one of her friends arranged a meeting with a group of professional artists. They instantly saw she was serious about painting and invited her to join their monthly group painting sessions during which they coached and encouraged her. Years later, while living and working near Boston, Hatch took some formal training, including a life drawing class and intensive painting workshops. Although she had a distinctive style from the start, she encountered trouble whenever she approached a gallery or tried to join a painting association. She kept hearing ‘You cannot handle color!’. Believing that it was her critics who could not handle color, she moved to New Mexico. Color here seems to be less of a problem.
Locally, Hatch is inspired by the Rio Pueblo Gorge and other natural surroundings found in Taos County. The subjects of her boldly colored oil paintings range from landscapes to portraits of houseplants. In them she aspires to reveal the dynamic forces of life, whether they manifest as a mountain, a tree, or a philodendron. She is pleased to be represented in the Charles Collins Gallery.