Please visit my website for more information about original paintings. All images on this website are protected under copyright law and may only be reproduced with written permission from the artist ©Mary Benke.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Maroon Reflections

Since my first visit to the Maroon Bells 33 years ago, I have been captivated by this beautiful Colorado landmark. A gorgeous lake reflects the iconic bells, which change dramatically depending on the season and time of day. This view was after a late morning hike right before the aspens began to change.
Maroon Reflections | Pastel | 9 x 12 | $350

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Glade of Orange

Ready for fall? Do you like orange? I'm continuing to have fun playing around with watercolor, ink, and Yupo paper. This is the 4th in my popular "Forest for the Trees" series. Enjoy!

Glade of Orange | Watercolor & Ink on Yupo | $350

Friday, September 1, 2017


Yupo is an amazing surface for watercolor painting. It's a synthetic paper that actually repels the watercolor paint. As a watercolorist, I'm used to the paint working with the water to sink in and be absorbed by the paper. Yupo causes the paint to pool and run in unpredictable but fascinating ways. Alcohol can be sprayed on the paint to create even more effects. I've enjoyed experimenting with this aspen and ink on yupo series. Here's the latest!
"Skyward" | Watercolor on Yupo | 9 x 12 | $350

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Beneath the Cottonwoods

I was so excited to take another class with the very creative Coni Grant at the Art Center of Estes Park. We focused on design and especially doing a notan drawing before starting to paint. I was pleased with the results!

Beneath the Cottonwoods | 9 x 12 | Oil

Friday, August 4, 2017

Artwork on Display in Longmont

I'm pleased to have some of my original pastel paintings on display at the Boulder Medical Center in Longmont for a few months. Thanks to Longmont Artists' Guild for the opportunity!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

New Notecard Sets!

Two new notecard sets from Mary Benke Fine Art in time for Mother's Day and Spring! "Forest for the Trees Series" and "Art Nouveau Roses Series." Sets feature 3 different images, blank inside. $9/set +shipping. Message me for more info or pick some up at the Art Center of Estes Park.

Friday, October 9, 2015

"Journeys" Pastel Society of Colorado Show

Signature members of the Pastel Society of Colorado were challenged to create a new body of work about a personal visual journey. The results are exhibited in an intriguing show in the North and Mezzanine Galleries at the Lakewood Cultural Center in Lakewood, CO, through Nov. 22. Here are the images from my "House Portraits" collection and my writeup.

Hometown Treasure McCreery House in Loveland, CO, pastel painting by Mary Benke
"Hometown Treasure," 6x6, pastel

Le Maison de Monet in Giverny pastel house portrait painting by Mary Benke
"Le Maison de Monet," 9x9, pastel

Springtime in Old Town pastel painting of Victorian House by Mary Benke
"Springtime in Old Town," 6x6, pastel

From internationally famous to locally known to anonymous, these houses all captured my attention with their fascinating architecture and eyecatching landscaping. But most of all, it was their individual personalities I tried to convey in pastel. Most anyone who is an art lover has seen “The Master’s House,” Claude Monet’s home in Giverny. But not everyone has enjoyed it from this more intimate side view I used in “Le Maison de Monet.” The gardens there are, of course, magnificent, so it was essential for me to emphasize the flowering trees and roses in my painting as part of its character. “Local Treasure,” features a unique home in my hometown, Loveland. The McCreery House was built in the late 1800s and features distinctive architecture. It’s a charming venue for weddings, so I included a bit of “romance” in the painting along with seasonal fall foliage. “Springtime in Old Town” depicts another adorable home, this time in Old Town, Fort Collins. Again, the flowering tree is important to the design of the painting, adding some extra beauty to the gingerbread characteristics of the home.