Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Folk Artist Mary Paulsen

Five miles from the shores of Holden Beach, NC sits an interesting and fascinating place--"Mary's Gone Wild", the home, gallery, and studio of folk artist Mary Paulsen. Since 1996, Paulsen has been creating various vignettes for housing her doll collection, colorful and fun paintings done on the glass of old windows, and sculptures and structures of various types. (You can learn more about Mary at her website-- Mary's Gone Wild)

The property looks like a scene from one of the hoarding television shows, and I would imagine that Paulsen could easily be diagnosed as a hoarder. But the property has drawn attention and visitors for years, a stop in any day will find tourists exploring the grounds with cameras in hand. And today, I was one of those tourists. Please enjoy this look at the fascinating work of Mary Paulsen:

A typical scene at Mary's. The property is littered with child-sized playhouses filled with vignettes.

Inside one of the structures, this one outfitted as a church, with various religious iconography at all sorts of different scales.

One of the playhouses. All of them are constructed of what appears to be leftover materials.

One of the treehouses on the property.

Kitschy donation boxes like this one are located throughout the display. Procedes go to feed hungry children.

The front porch of Mary's house. Most of the property is likewise cluttered with "stuff"--no apparent rhyme or reason to it.

There is "stuff" everywhere. It's beyond overwhelming.

A typical Mary Paulsen window painting. Bright colors and cartoonish figures.

There are hundreds of these window paintings on the property. All for sale.

Inside another of the playhouses. This one was fully setup for housekeeping.

A suit of armor stands guard over some of Mary's treasures.

One of the newer structures was setup as a light filled gallery, full of Mary's window paintings.

Even the ceilings of the gallery building have gotten the Mary treatment.

Mary herself at work on another piece. Throughout the property is evidence of works in progress.

Some of the newest creations at Mary's are these structures built of bottles. Inside this one, there was an interesting play of light through the bottles, which framed a classic Mary painting of a mermaid.

The exterior of one of the bottle structures.

If you're ever near Holden Beach, you have to stop at Mary's. It's an experience you won't soon forget. Take your camera!

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1 comment:

  1. This looks like quite the experience. Much better than the hoarding house next to Granny's or the one out the road from me. I sooooo want to go there!!!!