Mary Macey Butler is a fine art photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She grew up in Marin County, California, and graduated with a degree in Education from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She then studied Occupational Therapy at the University of Puget Sound, where she completed their graduate program and began a successful career in that field. At the same time she began to concentrate on photography, showing her work at galleries and art centers throughout the Bay Area.
Mary continues to develop her skills and portfolio through workshops and travel. She has photographed in the USA, Canada, South Africa, Namibia, New Zealand, Cuba, Morocco, Europe, and various locations in Mexico. She has studied with American and Canadian photographers, including Freeman Patterson, Richard Martin, and Andre Gallant.
Recently, Mary has exhibited her work at Image Flow (Mill Valley), the Marin Civic Center (San Rafael) and Art Works Downtown (San Rafael). She has had several solo exhibitions as a guest artist at the Riverfront Art Gallery in Petaluma. She has received numerous awards, including the “Exhibitor of the Year” award at the Marin County Fair.
When she’s not traveling, Mary lives with her family in San Rafael, CA.
I walk around, looking at the world. I am interested in graphic order, architectural lines, trees, images with mystery, abstract shapes. I like to pursue subjects in depth, those that promote thoughts, feelings, or an impression. I create images that have a quiet subtle impact or make a bold statement.
I tend to use longer (telephoto) lenses and then remind myself to look at the larger picture. I end up going closer and cropping, always trying to simplify, to find the essence. I frequently use a tripod, as I can see better with one. I care about sharpness when sharpness is required, but I also like the pleasure of motion photography, which is very freeing.
Many photographers have influenced me. Freeman Patterson of New Brunswick, Canada has been an important influence throughout my career. He is a master of the art of seeing and I have been drawn to his photography, both visually and emotionally. I learned a lot about motion photography from Richard Martin of Kingston, Canada, who helped me learn the freedom to ‘play’ with my camera, along with Andre Gallant, another Canadian, who has emboldened me to experiment and push the limits of creativity.
I am sometimes asked if my photographs are paintings, perhaps because of their emphasis on composition, color and line, shape and form. These painterly qualities often elicit a range of emotional responses. My intention is for viewers to appreciate the whole composition, and especially the quiet places in my work.