Hooray! I won the Halifax Art Battle 56. I was thoroughly unsuspecting it, and really just participated in order to challenge myself, but then..

It was simply a blast, and I didn’t realize that the clamour of bystanders and adrenaline-infused madness would produce such joy in the 20 minutes that the artists had in each round to produce the best art their sweaty palms and heart-racing selves could produce, (and improv, nevertheless).

While I’m not accustomed to being in the spot light, I rather enjoyed the total submersion of having to paint under such pressure, and to step out of my comfort zone by being in front of so many people, as well as not having the safety and security of a reference to work from. Painting merely from my head was, in fact, rather refreshing, and a nice break from the tedious, architectural images I’ve been painting for my upcoming show.

The first image is what I painted from the first round.  It was painted in 20 minutes in acrylic (no model). Some said that it looked like me, and asked if it was a self-portrait. I said no, but afterwards, realized that subliminally my mind perhaps was projecting my own self image. I suppose you paint from what you know best. Interesting concept to explore in the future perhaps …

The outcome of winning is that I’ll be painting in the Halifax finalist’s on June 22. The painter who wins this one will represent Nova Scotia on a national level, with expenses paid to Toronto. We’ll see how far down the rabbit trail this goes…






About mary garoutte

Welcome to Mary Garoutte Fine Art; a blog and visual diary of my inspirations and past/recent art. Mary Garoutte Fine Art is a multi-faceted proprietorship, offering fine art, live event painting, private art lessons & public workshops, art consultation and mentorship. Please periodically check-in for updates on exhibitions, classes, painting events, mentorship services, and also part-time job opportunities, such as studio assistance & photography. I am an emerging visual artist based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Originally from Mesa, Arizona, it’s has been a long journey to find my artistic roots in Eastern Canada. I studied painting at NSCAD University and majored in fine art (BFA 2004). Since graduation, I have taught painting and drawing workshops to adults and children, notably the NSCAD School of Extended Studies. I have also had the opportunity to exhibit in both solo and group exhibitions throughout Canada and internationally. Nowadays, I occupy my time between working part-time as an arts administrator and private art instructor and part-time as a professional visual artist. I have worked for about a decade painting the quaint landscape, architecture & vernacular of Eastern Canada. Recently, I am shifting into Magic Realism with its strong and subversive narrative and dreamlike subject-matter. I am a painter who has a photographic background, and interest in the medium of film and cinematography, which is reflective in my paintings in the pre-occupation with light, shadow, and dramatic and cinematic imagery. Major influences which I attribute the aesthetic of my work include Canadian Post-Impressionism, Alex Colville, British figurative artist Lucian Freud, Surrealist artist Rene Magritte, American artists Wayne Thiebaud & Edward Hopper, as well as Canadian photographer Gregory Crewdson and film giants such as Alfred Hitchcock. I accept public and private commissions. For pricing and inquiries, please contact me through my blog or by email.
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18 Responses to Whew!….

  1. Cynthia baniassad says:


    Thanks for sending this!

  2. Suzanne says:

    Congratulations !!!! Well done !!!

  3. Eileen Gormley says:

    Mary! That is SO FABULOUS!!

    Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2013 03:25:45 +0000 To: eileen_mk@hotmail.com

  4. Linda Kennedy says:

    Hi Honey,

    It’s your mom (who else would call you “Honey”!) 🙂 You already know how I feel about your winning this competition and how very, very proud it makes me feel as your mother. God has given me two very talented daughters, and soon I hope to be blessed with a daughter flying off to Toronto to represent Nova Scotia.

    I love you!

  5. Cynthia baniassad says:


  6. Cheryl says:

    Have an amazing time Mary,you shined!

  7. Leekai Opoku says:

    Hey Mary, I just came across your blog and decided to read what you’d written. Congrats on winning the Halifax Art Battle 56! Keep working your God given gift. I’ve shared your work on my Business Facebook Page. Hope you don’t mind. -Leekai

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