Mary Kolada Scott


As an artist and a writer, I blend imagery and words. I paint intuitively, primarily with acrylics and mixed media. I’m not shy of color and use it boldly to convey feelings. I love the texture of painted surfaces, the impressions of brushstrokes and tools. Painting is a tactile experience as well as an emotional response. Like the songwriter Joni Mitchell, I am “a painter derailed by circumstance.” In my youth, I wanted to study art but was sidetracked and pursued the language arts for decades, putting the visual arts on hold. Several years ago, I retired after 24 years from the Ventura County Star newspaper, where I was editorial operations manager and wrote a weekly poetry column for years. My poems and personal essays also have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies. I then turned from representational painting to abstracts, to express a poetic language for emotions. Often I collage images, words, phrases, or lines from my poems onto the canvas.



Artist and writer Mary Kolada Scott was born in Chicago but has lived most of her life in Southern California, for the past 28 years in Ventura. As a child, she wanted to be an artist but got sidetracked into journalism and creative writing. She studied journalism at Los Angeles Valley College and English with a writing option at California State University, Northridge, where she won the Rachel Sherwood Award for poetry twice. Mary retired in 2017 after a 24-year career at the Ventura County Star, where she was the editorial operations manager and for several years wrote a weekly poetry column. She devotes her time to art now and focuses on acrylic paintings, mixed media, and collages. Mary often incorporates her poetry in her mixed-media pieces and collages. Her poems, essays, articles, photographs and paintings have been published in numerous periodicals and anthologies, including the Los Angeles Times, Victoria, Rhino, Art/Life, Her Mark 2009 and Her Mark 2010 (a journal of art and poetry published by Woman Made Gallery), and Calyx, a Journal of Art and Literature by Women. A self-taught artist, Mary has taken workshops with Ted Nuttall, Hiroko Yoshimoto, Robert Burridge, Tom Fong, Susan Seaberry, Joan McKasson, Al Setton, and others. She has shown her art at exhibitions throughout Ventura and Los Angeles counties and in virtual shows online during the COVID-19 lockdown. Her art is widely collected. In addition to Woman Made Gallery, Mary belongs to the Buenaventura Art Association, the Collage Lab, and Vita Art Center (all in Ventura), and the Abstract Art Collective in Santa Barbara. Her paintings also are available at Poppies Art and Gifts in Ojai.

artist’s website


© Mary Kolada Scott