Headshot of local Calgary abstract artist Mary-Jo Lough wearing a black shirt, smiling with grey hair.

Mary- Jo Lough

I am Mary-Jo Lough, an abstract artist based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. My artistic journey began at a young age when my parents discovered arts and crafts were the only activities that reliably harnessed my very hyperactive ADHD self.  This realization led to years of art classes and camps.  My lifelong fascination with abstract art began in my early teens as I was mesmerized by my uncle’s vivid and thought-provoking surrealist paintings.  The imaginative and fantastical qualities of surrealism and the freedom found within abstract art were a place my Neurodivergent mind could roam free.

I began my journey at the University of Lethbridge as an art major, however, I finished with an education degree as at that time I felt it was more practical.  I continued a personal art practice and accepted commissions along the way.  The passing of my mother in 2019 inspired me to ignore fear and the possibility of failure and shift to art full-time. 

My work is intuitive and heavily influenced by my experiences as a neurodivergent individual, with each piece offering a glimpse of my interior world.  Energetic, bold, and intricately detailed, my art is the visual language of how I harness my internal chaos.  Using thin layers of acrylic paint and paper I establish a chaotic foundation.  The beginning phase of my process mirrors my experience with rapid-fire thoughts and sensory overload.  When I begin to envision anchoring elements overlaying the foundational layers I transition to applying pattern and detail.  I utilize line and pattern to represent how my mind transforms seemingly random ideas and emotions into an understandable connected network. 

My unique perspective and experience as a neurodivergent individual are reflected in my art. I am committed to using my work to raise awareness and promote understanding of neurodiversity. I believe that by sharing my experiences, I can help break down stigmas and shift focus to the superpowers found within the Neurodivergent, ultimately creating a more inclusive and accepting society. 

Please reach out with any questions!