Artist Spotlight: Mary Beth Kushner

Urban Landscape, 24" x 48"
Believe the Impossible, 12" x 36"
"I tend to use a lot of fan brushes; however, I often use palette knives,recycled canvas, and sponges to apply paint, various texturing and gel or gloss mediums.  I have found that fan brushes allow me to control the mediums I use a bit better.  I really go with how the paints flows in the moment – I may try 4-5 different types of brushes in a span of 5 minutes if things just don’t feel right." ~Mary Beth Kushner

Needle in the Haystack, 24" x 48"
Self taught Rochester artist, Mary Beth Kushner works from a place of the here and now, feeling her way through the art work and letting the materials give her inspiration.  She began her career in art on the road to recovery from a serious illness, that left her unable to participate in the sports she normally enjoyed.  After a suggestion from her mom, Mary Beth naturally fell into painting, finding that the process allowed her to move in a whole new way.  

With a childhood near Rochester, New York and living over a decade in Baltimore, Maryland, Mary Beth's work reflects the gritty architecture and textural feel of the places she has experienced, not to mention the flow of the sports she grew up playing.  "The most recent series I am knee deep in is inspired by everyday buildings, the feel of cities, it is allowing me to further experiment with mixed media and perspective when drawing or painting a building or cityscape," she explains.  

Where Dreams Are Made, 24" x 48"
"Because I have no formal training, I really go by feel.  Specifically, how do I feel in that moment; how will a particular type of material impact the feeling of the piece.  I really just follow my gut in hopes of creating a sense of movement or freedom while at the same time a calmness and effortless flow in each piece.  The materials allow me a great deal of experimentation and happy accidents.  I have found I gravitate towards texture, whether it be a texturing medium or recycling/found objects, such as nails, torn canvas, tissue paper, street signs, broken glass tiles, etc.  This texture allows me to create depth in each piece; it allows the piece to literally create itself right in front of me.  Again, the materials allow me to enjoy the process of creation and experimentation, but my goal is that each time a person views one of my pieces, they will notice something different depending on the angle or lighting." 

Besides her work as an artist, Mary Beth is a full time Occupational Therapist at a local hospital in Rochester.  Along with her surroundings in urban life and the flowing movement of being an athlete, her career as a therapist and healer also influences her work.  Much of her work has words of inspiration sprinkled in, for those she encourages daily.  "I think the passion I have as a therapist shines through in the pieces I create; much like painting, occupational therapy is all about the process -- there is always an end goal, but you have to get through the 'weeds' to get there."

Mary Beth is also a Manhattan Arts International Artist, where you can see more of her work:  To keep up with Mary Beth's work and gallery openings, you can also find her online at

Keep Painting,

For more brush information, check out the Dynasty Brush website.


  1. Thank you Karyn for such an outstanding featured article. Congratulations Mary Beth! I learned a lot more about you in this article. Kudos to both of you! I'll be sharing this on Twitter and Facebook.

  2. Thank you, Renee for sharing some great artists with the world via your work!


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