10 Questions to the Artist – Mary Sundstrom

Throughout July, C2C is featuring an exhibit of work by Mary Sundstrom. A Grand Haven artist, Mary is currently working primarily in oil on canvas, but has a love for most painting mediums; and sculpture, primarily doll making. Mary is also the Program Director and Exhibits Co-Coordinator for the Holland Area Arts Council, and teaches art throughout the region.


meTo any of us who enjoy and appreciate Art, it’s always fascinating to get a glimpse into what an artist thinks, what influences them, and how they approach their own work… You can read Mary’s answers below, and see her work in-person at C2C until the end of July.


What turns you on creatively, spiritually, or emotionally?

I love the woods, water and the dunes. I am mesmerized by the plant life that grows in these wild areas. Lately I have been focusing on fungus. Nature hikes are my chapel and the wind in the trees are the hymns.

Do you have an influence or theme that guides your work?

Pettys Bayou
The land in and around West Michigan is my theme. I frequently paint the plant life of the bayous. I never put humans into the picture because I am disappointed at what humans have destroyed. I try to create paintings where the plants have a dialogue in the scene.The dolls are just for fun.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I would not attempt any another unless it was a botanist or herbalist. Maybe someday I would like to be a philanthropist.

What profession would you not like to do?

Telemarketer, Cable TV employee, Debt Collector, IT, Prison Guard, road kill clean up.

Who are your favorite artists?

Charles Burchfield, Annabel Livermore, Lewis Cross, Paul Klee, Edward Munch, Peter Diog, Alexander Calder, Antonio Gaudi and the list goes on and changes.

What is your favorite tool used to create your work?

A paintbrush.

What is your favorite word?


What is your least favorite word?


Who is your favorite musician?

I just can’t narrow it down to one but when I paint I love listening to books on tape.

How much formal education have you received? Related to your craft.trumpets

I have a Bachelors of Fine Arts and have had master classes after I college. I studied abroad in Madrid Spain. I mainly credit myself for my art education because I never stopped exploring and learning.

Thank you very much to Mary for taking the time to answer our questions.  Please stop in to see her great new work in the gallery through the remainder of July.