About Mary King

Mary at Jorf

Born in Sussex in a small village at the foot of the South Downs, my mother told me I began drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil. Always interested in the natural world, wandering the hills and woods even as a child, I began while still young to try and depict the beauty I saw around me, much to the boredom of my friends who couldn’t see the fun in sitting in some field all day trying to draw green hills.

When I was 15 my family moved to Ilkley in Yorkshire, on the edge of the Dales, where I soon found a thriving amateur and professional arts scene, and I began to take my drawing more seriously. On leaving school I attended Bradford Art College to take a Foundation Course in Art & Design, followed by a degree at Leeds Polytechnic, where I attained a B.A. (Hons.) in Graphic Design, specialising in Illustration.

After graduating I rejected the natural ‘progression’ of working in a design studio and endeavoured to earn a living from my own paintings. Concentrating on my favourite subjects of old stone walls and wild, heathery moorland scenes, I supplemented my income by working part-time in an art shop and accepting a few commissions. After one or two successful exhibitions, I chanced upon a small, isolated community on the far Northwest coast of Scotland. A land of rock and water, nestled between mountains and sea, full of welcoming people and incredible views; peaceful, rugged and untamed, I found new inspiration which has remained with me to this day…

Moved by the timeless grandeur and the dramatic, ever-changing light of this unique region, I try to capture its essence, its romance, its timelessness, where each turn of the head brings a view more incredible than the last and where gazing out to sea with the shafts of sunlight playing on the islands and the white foam crashing onto the pink sands still take my breath away.

Having made my home in Achiltibuie I opened my gallery, Picture Shack, in 1993 which was hugely successful for many years; a short 3 year incarnation followed in the nearby village of Lochinver but due to my somewhat nomadic lifestyle its current home is here, on these pages.