Mary Kay Krell grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a university town. She was raised in a musical family and became interested in the arts at an early age.
A love of nature was encouraged through cross-country camping trips and a beloved family cottage on the shore of Lake Michigan.
Her major at The University of Michigan was in painting and printmaking. In a work-study program during her college years she learned graphics skills and has held several positions as a graphic artist. These jobs were intermingled with raising a family, moving several times, and dabbling in acrylics and pen and ink illustration.
She began painting seriously in watercolor after a move to Minnesota in 1985, and developed a representational style characterized by softness, luminosity, and meticulous preoccupation with color. Her subject matter is botanical, either with nursery or garden scenes, or still-life with flowers. In 2001 she began painting with oils carrying on her passion for natural subject matter in the still-life venue. A life-long interest in gardening has provided much of the subject matter for her paintings.
She has taught private lessons to all ages in watercolor, oil, and drawing. Mary Kay’s work has been published by major publishers in many forms, including limited and open edition prints, calendars, and greeting cards. Her work has illustrated the pages of books and magazines published by Guideposts/Ideals. Currently, she is exploring landscape painting inspired by travels taken.