Back to Artists' Shop
Mary Ann Varley

Mary Ann Varley has always been an artist. She can’t really remember not making drawings and paintings. Born in England immediately after the Second World War, her family promptly came to Canada. She was brought up in Nova Scotia and Ottawa. Mary Ann began teaching in 1968 in Quebec City. When she and her husband moved their young family to Ottawa, they taught at Ashbury College. Thirty years later she retired from teaching at Ashbury. She is also a lifelong learner, with a Master of Arts (Art Ed.), B. Ed., B.A. (Fine Arts). She has taught various sessions at the Ottawa School of Art at the Shenkman Arts Centre, and at University of Ottawa.  She also manages the Old Stick Cooperative Studio. A highlight of her career was being a recipient of The City of Ottawa, City Builders award in May 2018 for her contribution to the arts.

Mary Ann’s studio practice includes a wide variety of media, drawing, collage, acrylic and oil painting. She loves to experiment. She has developed the difficult process of collaging actual photo prints into acrylic paintings. The photographs are like Henri Cartier-Brisson documenting a moment in time from her travels. In her technique she collages the prints into her imagined cityscape or landscape. Other materials are selected to enhance the design. She loves to draw, often on archival tissue. Contrasts in light, shifting scales, and perspectives are conveyed in her compositions -a magical place, unique from the context of time and place.