Mary Lou Dooley Waller: Paintings and Works on Paper

WELCOME to the Indy Arts Studio Series, where you will find behind-the-scenes information such as raw footage from conversations with featured artists, details about artwork development, artist bios, the show at-a-glance, and other details on the opening of their exhibition in Gallery 924 at the Arts Council.

New Solo Exhibition:
Mary Lou Dooley Waller: Paintings and Works on Paper

Gallery 924
November 6 – 25, 2015

Dooley Waller is an abstract painter whose graceful, organic paintings can be found in private and public collections all over Indiana. Her quintessential non-objective paintings are expressive and colorful, yet subtle and soothing at the same time. Her latest body of work continues to focus on the more formalist aspects of color, light, and movement. She paints through an intuitive process and the resulting work offers a sense of effortless beauty. Unquestionably, the artist possesses an innate ability to produce what seems instinctual and spontaneous, although each painting has been reworked multiple times. Her new work includes works on canvas and paper, and will result in her first solo exhibition in Indianapolis since 2008 at the former Ruschman Gallery.

Prior to the exhibition, we visited Mary Lou’s studio to view her recent works and ask her a few questions!

Studio 360°


As an established painter, have you reached a point where creating work comes easily to you?


While discussing her influences and process, she noted that she begins each painting in the intuitive state of Automatism, pioneered by the Surrealist artists of the early 20th century. The process of Automatism is one that allows the subconscious mind to take over the physical actions of the body. Dooley Waller stated that her process begins with Automatism during which the initial washes, colors, and shapes are applied to the canvas. Once she sees distinct shapes or colors come to be, she then moves away from the subconscious process and allows her more intentional creative and aesthetic instincts to take over and refine the shapes that became dominate in the early phases of the work.


 Next, we asked Mary Lou to talk about a few pieces in particular:

Surge, 2015, oil on canvas


Blue Ground, 2015, oil on canvas


Fronds, 2015, oil on canvas


For More Information:

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Gallery 924 is open Monday – Friday from 9 am – 5 pm.  Thursdays from 9 am – 6 pm.