Although Mary enjoyed painting and drawing as a child and was particularly encouraged in this by her father who paid for her to have extra art classes at school, there was no thought of further art studies after she completed her Leaving Certificate. However she was able to use her drawing skills while studying and then teaching Biology. Apart from a year of evening classes in watercolour with Fred Roberts at the Armidale Teacher’s College before the birth of her first child in 1962, she did not return to painting until she and her husband retired to the Central Coast in 1991 after living and working in Papua new Guinea for over twenty years.
Initially she painted in oils, enrolling in a WEA evening class tutored by well known local artist, Robert Doyle, but, after joining Toukley and Districts Art Society in 1992, she was encouraged to try other media through the many workshops available. For several years she painted regularly with Daisy Sharp at Cooranbong who reintroduced her to watercolours and to watercolour pencils. She currently attends classes at Morisset with Belinda Biggs who specialises in Botanical Art. As she is allergic to the solvents used with oils, Mary now paints mainly in watercolours, coloured pencils, acrylics and pastels Her style of painting and choice of subjects, generally flowers and birds, reflect her academic training in Biology and her other main interest, gardening.
Soon after joining TADAS she found herself on the Committee and served on it for ten years, first as Hostess and then as Treasurer for seven years. She again held the position of Hostess in 2009 - 2010 but was not on the Committee.
She has sold many paintings and original hand painted cards at Exhibitions (most recently with the Central Coast Watercolour Soc.) and through the Art Society's Federation Gallery; many have been purchased by overseas visitors and visitors from interstate as mementos of their visit to the Central Coast.