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I can’t remember a time when I didn’t draw.

Growing up I was surrounded by creative visual expression. My father, Al Eggart, an electrical engineer by profession, was also gifted in drawing and design. My mother, Mary Lee Moreland Eggart, was the director of an extensive arts and crafts program for children and adults at the Baton Rouge Catholic Youth Organization. My maternal uncle, the painter William L. Moreland, headed the art department at the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette). He visited frequently, always encouraging my love of drawing and helping me learn to see the forms, colors, and patterns of nature.

My interest in nature began early. My grandfather, Fred Moreland, a retired Louisiana State University botany professor, taught me to look at nature in a scientific way: in addition to the beauty of the flower’s appearance is the beauty of how it functions and fits into its ecosystem. One of his retirement hobbies was feeding the birds in his backyard. He built all his own feeders, and together we would observe and study the birds from the big windows in the rear of his house.

As I grew as an artist, images of those birds began to appear in my work. My interest in them expanded from the scientific to the aesthetic—their forms, colors, and patterns offered so many possibilities—and beyond, to their metaphoric potential. The study of art history offered a precedent for melding my interest in nature with the precepts of a strong Catholic faith, which I inherited from my mother and my grandmother, Hilda Martinez Moreland. As I developed this symbolic visual language, I grew to feel an affinity with the late-medieval artists whose accurate, carefully observed portrayals of animals and plants also expressed a spiritual message.

   
 

Videos about Mary Lee Eggart's artwork:

LPB's Art Rocks October 2015

Baton Rouge Gallery ARTiculate May 2015

Baton Rouge Gallery ARTiculate December 2011

 
   
   

Circles of Prayer
2016

   
   
   
Nesting
2007

 
 
 
Spectrum
1999

 
 

Sacred Heart Church
Drawings and Candles

 

©2008 Mary Lee Eggart
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Clyde boiled the egg.