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Mary Heussenstamm, Portrait Artist...
Watercolor Portraits by Mary HeussenstammMary Heussenstamm was painting "in her mind" before she had even held a paintbrush.  When she was 59, she quit work as a Registered Nurse caring for terminally ill patients and purchased art materials. "I knew watercolors would be my medium.  I so loved their transparency, their cleanliness, their beauty and their challenge".  

She discovered that she had an instinctive talent with watercolors.  She knew what she wanted her paintings to look like, so, not allowing instructors to influence her, she developed her own style.  Using only one brush and seven colors, Mary completes a portrait in 45 minutes and does NOT touch it again.

Initially, she made deals with business owners who would exchange a portrait for referrals.  Her reputation grew by "word of mouth" as people saw her paintings hanging in businesses and were referred to her.  She painted "commissioned" portraits seven days a week, sometimes two or three a day.

Going into Los Angeles neighborhoods, Mary developed a body of work around  various ethnic groups.  Watercolor Portraits, Painted on the Streets of Los Angeles, her second book, is compiled of those paintings done on the street.

Then, Mary realized she wanted to select her own models.  Looking for character in their faces, she began approaching people on the street - day laborers, old men, prostitutes, drug addicts, gang bangers and pimps.  She would ask them to pose and offer $10 for the 45 minutes the portrait would take. 

Going into Los Angeles neighborhoods, she developed a body of work around  various ethnic groups.  Watercolor Portraits, Painted on the Streets of Los Angeles, her second book, is compiled of those paintings done on the street.

 "Andi" watercolor portrat by Mary Heussenstamm   "Axelle" watercolor portrat by Mary Heussenstamm   "Keri" watercolor portrat by Mary Heussenstamm   "Elmer" watercolor portrat by Mary Heussenstamm   "Sturges" watercolor portrat by Mary Heussenstamm  "Susan" watercolor portrat by Mary Heussenstamm 

Click on each thumbnail above to see a larger image.

See more of Mary's artwork, buy paintings & prints at Portraits for a New Millennium.