"Essence Portraits" combine my artistic and intuitive senses with my love of people. 

I see people and organisations as images, colours and shapes that visually describe their essential qualities. I integrate and alchemize these unique 'signatures' onto canvas to create each portrait, which can represent a person, family, business, concept or company logo.

Clients love the results: simply speaking about ones’ self (and being heard) during the process can be transformative, while gazing upon the finished product often results in tears of joy and inspiration!

Custom portraits make wonderful gifts: having one's depth and beauty portrayed on canvas can be a very liberating and expansive process for many. (I can create pieces without needing to meet the subject in person.)


Please contact me if you'd like to co-create a custom piece for you or a loved one.

More about...

The process:

    To begin the portrait process, I conduct an interview with the client, which can be done in person, by phone or over Skype and generally takes between 30 and 60 minutes. After the interview, I sit with the insights from the client and imagery that comes through during the interview process. I sketch and journal to grain clarity around the general design. This usually occurs over several days, but can sometimes take longer; some portraits appear very clearly and resolve immediately into a cohesive image, while others may appear 'hazy', heavily abstracted or resolve slowly. Once the vision is clear, I sketch the final design on paper, refining until it feels right.  I then translate the image in paint, ink or other media onto canvas or wood, often refining the design as I work.  (Media is customizable on request.)

The Experience

 For those represented, this process behind these portraits can be a profound experience, which begins before brush even touches canvas.  (Testimonials here.)

 One client hung hers in her bedroom so that she could ‘anchor [her] identity to her portrait in the morning when [she] wakes up.' She reports that she has been able to identify 'deeper aspects of [her]self, shift old patterns and…find new purpose' through the clarity and insight she acquired through the both the creation process and in living with the finished portrait.

 Another client said that his acts as a 'portal' through which he sees 'profound depths' of himself.

Seeing the beauty and depth in one's self can be a very liberating and expansive process for many. The act of simply being seen and heard is often a deeply healing gift for my clients. 

What do I receive?

    As I formulate each portrait, I record details of the process that may hold significance to the client, such as concurrent experiences and insights. (I often experience the essence of a person during the process; for example, the design may change or elements resolve coincident with personal work on the client's behalf; fundamental changes can be reflected in the painting.) As I create, I journal, make sketches and take progress pictures, which are included in the package, along well as a high-resolution digital image of the finished portrait (which some clients have printed on phone cases, business cards, etc).

    Beyond what each client receives in physical form, the greatest gifts that can come with having one's portrait done are self-reflective in nature: feelings of acknowledgement, well-being and a deeper sense of self, clarity and even life purpose. 


    Pricing can be customized.

Due to the process and personal nature of this work, portraits generally cost more than other commissioned works. For example, a 16x20" piece generally start at $1500, customizable from there according to size and intricacy desired. (I can create smaller or simpler pieces at a reduced rate if necessary.) If you're unsure about sizing, I can help make a recommendation. 

   (I humbly request a 50% deposit on commissioned works. Please contact me with any questions you have about pricing so we can work together to come up with something that is a win for all. For more information on pricing or commissioning a piece of art, please see here.)



...[Mary’s] form of artistry is clearly exemplified in her Essence portraits. I was truly honoured by her ability to ‘see’ me, and to create such a wonderful portrayal of my soul. It’s a very intimate & personal gift for oneself.
— Dr. Evangelos Papoutsis, DDS, Dentist
The portraits that Mary offers are simply medicine for the soul: she is able to listen deeply to what is not always spoken to, and capture the essence of a person, couple, family, event, business or home in a way that creates not only stunning art, but also an opportunity for deeper connection, growth, expansion and insight through unique expression.
— Jennifer Field, RHN, Retreat Owner/Operator, Social Service Worker
While the hustle & bustle of life happens, my Essence Portrait is the reminder of who I really am & helps me stay balanced & grounded. I didn’t realize the painting would have such a drastic positive impact on my daily life. I highly recommend Mary’s Essence Portraits to anyone seeking their own truth or gifting it to a loved one.
— Tanya, Management Consultant & Business Leader, Vancouver, Canada