Mary Ryder was born in Norwich, Vermont. Shortly thereafter she became active in art since it was something she could do until the earth thawed. “There was hardly a time when she wasn’t drawing.” says her Mom, “we would leave her alone for days with a box of crayons and when we got back she’d still be there!”
During college she worked as an archeological draftsman in Colonial Williamsburg since it combined her love of using ink and digging in the dirt. She also worked in a traditional wooden boat yard which wasn’t all that artistic but allowed her to work with power tools and toxic paints and was very cool.
After college, she worked for many years as an artist/art director at a graphic design studio in San Francisco which afforded her the opportunity to design, art direct photo shoots, press proof, do client contact work, eat good food and pay for her apartment. She moved to Honolulu, HI and worked in the art department of Bank of Hawaii, did freelance designs and logos for a surf board builder, a manufacturer of beach towels and a bikini company. Really!
Back in Virginia, Mary worked at an ad agency in Old Town doing design and production work which kept her from thinking about how much she would rather be in San Francisco or Hawaii. She freelanced for the Department of Education.
After her son was born, her artistic energies took a back seat and were diverted into home made Play-Doh and bizarre and inappropriate marzipan objects. After living overseas with her family for many years, Mary returned to Virginia and plunged back into art and nearly drowned in book binding, painting, printmaking, life drawing, graphite, pastel, charcoal, anything that would leave a mark….she retains a love for the bizarre and marzipan.