"Detroit-based abstract painter Mary Rousseaux is a woman of many contrasts; the feisty persona one encounters when they first meet the artist belies a deep tenderness that oozes from her work. Then there’s her love of both city and country.

Rousseaux says she experiences a personal transformation when she spends time away from the gritty city on the rolling, bucolic Leelanau Peninsula.

“I connect with nature, and then I come back to urban life and have a connection with humans and the natural rhythm of the city — Detroit has its own type of swagger,” she explains. The artist says she needs that clear city/country contrast in order to carry on; it’s the yin and yang that defines her work and her very being.

A mixed-media artist who lives in Detroit’s Indian Village neighborhood, Rousseaux numbers rather than titles her paintings. “I don’t want to define your experience,” she says. “It’s personal for everybody.”

Her Series 43, which consists of eight large-scale mixed-media paintings that cross the color spectrum from deep moody blues and greens to light pinks and yellows, focuses on the magical light that filters across Leelanau County. “The light is never the same,” she says, adding that the series is “colorful and contemplative.”"-  BY PATTY LANOUE STEARNS/ Detroit Home



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