Artist Spotlight: Mary Drastal

BOMH Artist Spotlight

  1. Mary Drastal
  2. I live in Wildwood, MO.
  3. My business name is Mary Drastal Fine Art.
  4. I work in oil and watercolor.
  5. My Facebook link is
  6. My Instagram link is drastal4yahoocom
  7. My website link is
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  9. I am a juried member of Best of Missouri Hands.
  10. I have enjoyed a membership with Best of Missouri Hands for several years.

I am also the chair for the Visiting Artist Program for BOMHs.  I place juried artists across the state into art classrooms to give presentations to students about their artwork and career.  Students love to hear about artists in their community.

  1. BOMHs has been on my radar for decades. It is a well-known and respected organization. I attended their shows and met many artists.  I decided to join after I met the president.
  2. I spent 30 years teaching art in St. Louis County School Districts.  Along with teaching, I designed programs for Gifted Art students 5-12th grades.  My programs include Summer Arts Institute at Maryville University, Arts Ahead Academy with Ladue School District and Start-Art with Mehlville School District.  After retirement, I began teaching painting one on one in my home.  Plein Air painting became an interest of mine.  As I progressed, I sought out galleries to represent my work.  I advertise on social media and take commissions.
  3. Besides teaching art, I worked for an art supply retail store for a year.  It was called

The Pen & Palette, located in Webster Groves.

  1. My hobbies include music, reading and hiking.
  2. My many pets have included cats and dogs.  Presently, I have one 13-year-old cat named Patches.
  3. Vacations are my passion.  I love to travel and photograph the sites.  Often, I paint from vacation photos.  I grew up motorcycling with my family all over the US and Canada.  As an adult, I like to visit the National Parks throughout the country.  I have had the pleasure of visiting Barbados, Estonia, Finland, France, Mexico, Scotland and Sweden.  They are all my favorites!
  4. My college degrees are all in the art field.  I began teaching and producing art in my twenties.  Its been a lifelong joy.
  5. Webster Groves is the town in which I grew up.  I lived in a century old farmhouse off of Berry Rd.
  6. My dad had his own insurance agency in St. Louis.  I inherited my business skills from him.  My mother loved to toll paint on objects.  I remember watching her as a child.  I loved the idea of painting and drawing.  By early elementary school, I knew that art would be my world.
  7. I was inspired to create art by everything I saw.  On any given day, I thought up dozens of paintings I wanted to create.  Portraits, landscapes, interiors, architecture and still life all vied for my attention.  My grandmother often took me to the St. Louis Art Museum and painted in watercolor.  She was a great influence.
  8. There are many things I love about creating art.  The process of oil and watercolor painting fascinate me.  The two media are quite different.  With watercolor, I employ many layers of transparent paint to build up a rich surface.  In oil, I paint alla prima and try to finish in one sitting.  Each media teaches my new things about communicating through images.
  9. I am fortunate to sell my work in several galleries.  Grafica Gallery in Webster Groves, the Galleries at Heartland in Kirkwood, the Train Depot Gallery in Washington, Zeke Gallery in Steelville and in online shows 23, 24 & 25.   I love to do shows and exhibits.  I have a painting in the Missouri Now show that is    traveling the state this year.  I will be the spotlight artist at the Alliance Gallery in Hannibal.  I have applied to several state’s watercolor shows.
  • What ever I am working on is my favorite thing to create.
  • Dear artist, please paint or draw every day.  This is akin to mastering a musical instrument.  You must practice.  If you would like to improve, set aside time everyday and immerse yourself.
  • As I create a painting, I am trying to tell the viewer a story.  It may be how I felt that day, painting along the side of the lake with the breeze in my hair.  In my studio, I may use several photos to put together a composition that talks about a subject.  My art process comes from inside me and I hope it communicates with you.