Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 in Nature, Blog, Portfolio | 0 comments


The Story & Legend of the Poinsettia
The Poinsettia is native to Central America and flourished in an area of Southern Mexico known as Taxco del Alarcon.

The Poinsettia may have remained a regional plant if it had not been for the efforts of Joel Roberts Poinsett (1779-1851). He was appointed the first US Ambassador to Mexico (1825-1829) by President Madison. Poinsett was fascinated by botany and maintained his own hothouses on his Greenville, SC plantations where he began propagating the plants and giving them to friends. Around 1836 the plant became known as “Poinsettia” recognizing Poinsett who first brought the plant to the USA.

A Charming story is told of Pepita, a poor Mexican girl who had no gift to present the Christ Child at Christmas Eve Services. She and her cousin Pedro walked to the chapel when Pedro said that even the most humble gift, if given in love, would be acceptable in His eyes. Pepita sadly gathered a handful of weeds and fashioned them into a bouquet. As she entered the chapel and approached the altar, she remembered Pedro’s words and felt her spirit lift as she knelt to lay the bouquet at the foot of the nativity scene. Suddenly, the bouquet of weeds burst into blooms of brilliant red, and all who saw were certain they had witnessed a Christmas miracle.

From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the Flores de Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night, for they bloomed each year during the Christmas season and thus, the legend of the Poinsettia was born.

Black Joe

Posted by on Jun 29, 2015 in People, Blog, Portfolio | 0 comments

Black Joe

My “Black Joe Story”….The painting and this story are from “my memory” when I was 4 years old in 1945.Black Joe painting

I was living in the Deep South…Chattanooga, Tennessee.  At that time in history not all families had the same beliefs as mine.  I grew up in a family with no racial prejudices, after all my mother was German which wasn’t popular during the war.

Since I have grown up, I have wondered how my daddy went from being a poor farm boy to being the first in his family to go to college and become a city man.  To the relatives he was “Charlie”…big daddy and highly respected.   We lived comfortably just on his “sales commissions” while daddy quietly helped people…mostly blacks. He bought them food, medicine, clothes and paid their rent, and sometimes doctor bills.  How he did all the good for so many with no base salary…just his commissions, is amazing to me!

Since he grew up on a farm and loved the farm life so much, it was natural that a huge garden was his favorite hobby.  This is where Daddy and I spent a lot of “our special time” together and he would create his wonderful stories…yarns!

Every Spring Joe, the biggest blackest man I had ever seen, would come and prepare the garden until it was like face powder. Joe couldn’t pay daddy back the money he owed him so this was Joe’s way of repayment.

I was about four years old when momma introduced me to Joe and after momma left, he said “Miss Mary Lou, please call me Black Joe”.   I was Joe’s water runner.  Later in the summer when Daddy’s garden would bloom and produce veggies, Joe would come and weed. I would take sandwiches, a bucket of water, and the saltshaker; then, I would sit with Joe and we would eat lunch together. One afternoon it was really hot and his black skin was shiny with beads of sweat that made him glow in the sunlight, and I asked, “Black Joe why are you so black and shiny?” He looked embarrassed but laughed and said, “Miss Mary Lou, you say the darnedest things!”  I was only 4 but I must have realized I said something “bad” from the expression in his eyes so I got up and walked to him and with him sitting and me standing; our eyes were the same level.  I placed my hands on his cheeks, kissed his cheek and said, “Black Joe…I think you are beautiful”.  Then, I hugged him …he tried to look away but I could still see the tears in his eyes.  When I was four, my first love was my daddy, my big brother Charles and my friend “beautiful Black Joe”!

… Mary Lou Brewton

Why do I create?

Posted by on May 3, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Why do I create?

It has taken me half of my life to answer the question, “Why do I create?” My answer…”To express my individuality through observation of the world around me and see all the possibilities for creating my personal interpretation”. My paintings are my feelings of the moment but my life’s journey, timing of my existence and the southern culture of that time period plus my choices in life influences what becomes my creative expression… painting. With my art, I have made a contribution to the world around me.

I start with a main idea that works in my mind for an undefined period of time, then, I sometimes do a photographic study of the main subject. I am not interested in reproducing the exact image that I refer to, but as I manipulate the water based paint…surprises occur and the fantasy begins. It is fascinating what happens between the starting point and what really appears as the finished product.

Developing my own special color pallet that represents my style takes time and experiment. I am drawn to both hot and cool colors. I love playing with the light areas against dark rich colors on both watercolor paper and metal… When I am working on hard metal surfaces with water based paint, the challenge of knowing when to control the action of movement and knowing when to stop…and let it go. It is exciting and challenging to experiment with ideas outside of my training.

The hardest part of artistic expression for me is developing the self-confidence to say, “I like it…I love it…DON’T TOUCH IT WITH THE BRUSH ANY MORE, don’t tear it up and believe that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.” I have to paint for myself or I lose my spontaneity and my creativity…it is not me.

Mary Lou