Big Bend Arts Council


  PO Box 1764, Alpine, TX  79831

Mary Diesel: Ceremony and Daily Living

Artist Statement  Whatever work I am creating, it seems to be more about emotion and relationship than a strict representation: more subjective than objective. There's something the world gives to me as I first experience it and then as I create my art. I hope my work somehow reflects something back to the world that is worth remembering. There is a language that speaks to me visually, and it is that conversation that I strive to reveal. 

Biography   Mary Diesel lived in the Terlingua area of the Big Bend over the course of 24 years. She is an exhibiting artist and steering committee member of Gallery on the Square in Alpine. From 2016 - 2018, she was facilitator for Terlingua Visual Arts, a non-profit committee which promotes artists and their work in south Brewster County, Texas. When she is not painting, Mary is desert hiking, practicing bass guitar, making soup or singing karaoke. Diesel now makes her home in Las Cruces, New Mexico, which is also in the Chihuahan Desert. 
   Her art expresses her connection to the world through a kind of "permeable boundary," one that can maintain and enrich relationships without losing herself in them. Her watercolors and acrylics reveal that close bond to her surroundings. Her ceremonial breastplates made from cast paper pulp, fibers and mixed media manifest that symbolism and convey the beauty of her desert surroundings.

    In 2007, she returned to her love for watercolor painting, and began studying with Virgin Island artist Jane Akin in 2008. She painted two seasons with the St. Croix plein aire group, The Palletteers.  In her watercolors, she captures moments from her daily living, where she finds quiet moments tucked into the active lives of people, animals and the environment. 

     Mary is a member of the New Mexico Watercolor Society - Southern Chapter and the local ArtForms Artist Association, which sponsors "For the Love of Art," a month-long celebration of the arts in Las Cruces and Mesilla. 


2020   March/April: "Crows in the Cottonwoods" - solo exhibit of new works at Aa Studios, Las Cruces

February: Frame & Art Center, "For the Love of Watercolor"; Open studio at Camelot Art Studio, Las Cruces

2019  December: Contemporary Art Pop-Up Show, Bank of the West, Las Cruces

BBAC Holiday Miniature Show, Alpine

November: BBAC Member Show at ArtWalk, Alpine

February: Amaro Winery, guest artist with the Gypsy Sage Artists, Las Cruces

NMWS Alternate Spaces Exhibit, Cafe de Mesilla and Salud! Restaurant, Las Cruces

2018    Featured artist, Gallery on the Square - February, 2018

2017    Starlight Theater, featured artist, November - December, 2017

2016   Terlingua Community Art Show, Red Patillo Community Center, Terlingua, Texas

2014 West Texas National Bank/Big Bend Regional Medical Center

Featured artist for one month at each location. Exhibited four 

           watercolor paintings and four breastplates. 

2012    25th Annual Caribbean Fine Art Exhibit

Exhibited four watercolor paintings and three breastplates, featuring “The Eyes of Jump Up.” The annual exhibit is one of the major fundraisers for The Good Hope School.

2011    The Palletteers Paint St. Croix

“Off Season at the Waterfront” was used for poster art. Four paintings were purchased by the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce to be given as awards at their annual ceremony.

2011    National Speleological Society Convention’s Fine Art Salon

          “Rainbow Keyhole, Jewel Cave, 1959”


2019   Agave Artists, Mesilla, New Mexico (August 2019 - January 2020); steering committee, 

publicity committee, communications committee, display committee

2017     Galegrie Jiri Stastny, Misenska 73/7, Praha 118 00, Czech Republic

2013 - Present    Gallery on the Square, Alpine, TX

2013    Earth & Fire Imports Gallery, Terlingua, TX – February Guest Artist

2012    Earth & Fire Imports Gallery, Terlingua, TX – October Guest Artist

2010    Leapin’ Lizard Gallery, Terlingua, TX – Breastplates

Mary has studied over the years with these artists:

  • Nancy Begin, Carolyn Bunch, Laurel Weathersby, Marie Siegrist, Penny Duncklee, Las Cruces, NM
  • Doug Eskra, Belleville, Illinois (painting and drawing)
  • Charlie Bell, Alpine, Texas (paper)
  • Jane Akin, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands (watercolor)
  • Ric Dentinger, San Antonio, Texas
  • Richard Robinson, New Zealand (online)
  • Deborah Allison, Alpine, Texas (drawing)
  • Carol Fairlie, Alpine (drawing)