California Watercolor Paintings.
Mary Helmreich was born in 1945 near Boston, Massachusetts.
Her talent was recognized early, when at age nine she won a prize for portraiture, competing against high school students.
At twelve she attended a summer art program at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. In the eleventh grade she studied Painting under Sidney Hurwitz at the De Cordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and at the Cummington School of the Arts in the Berkshires.
At Bard College New York from 1963-1964 she majored in Sculpture taught by Harvey Fite and Painting by Anton Refregier. She continued her studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston from 1964-1965 under the tutelage of Robert Grady and Andreas Feininger.
Toward the end of 1965 she traveled to London and Paris, where she met Gisbert Helmreich at a youth hostel in Place Pigalle. Together they hitchhiked through Europe, North Africa and East Africa. They were married in October 1966 in Burlington, Vermont.
Their son Stefan Helmreich and his wife Heather Paxson are both anthropologists at MIT.
From 1966 until the summer of 1981 they made their home in Boston, with a short sojourn to Vienna in 1968.
For many years Mary concentrated on the human form, drawing from life, first with a Boston group and then with the Winchester Studio Guild, assisted by professor emeritus King Coffin.
In 1969 her husband opened the Boston Chess Studio on Newbury Street, which became a focal point for the chess community during the Bobby Fischer era. Newbury Street, being the center of the New England art scene, inspired Mary to display her pencil drawings, acrylics and watercolor paintings.
After an exploratory cross-country trip in 1981, she and her family decided to move to San Diego, where they established residence in the community of Olivenhain in Encinitas. By that time watercolor had become her favorite medium.
She has been a member of several art organizations and has entered juried art shows receiving many awards & prizes.
Mary now paints cityscapes, landscapes, historical buildings and more intimate views of the area. All her paintings, including commissions, are carried out in the representational manner, using archival materials.
Her original watercolor paintings and prints are available at outdoor art exhibits, by appointment at her studio and through California galleries.
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