Creating her own style

Mary Jean Henke first began her foray as an artist at the age of 38. The decision came after Henke’s brother, an artist himself, gave her a challenge.

“My brother was a fabulous artist. I envied him,” she said. “I said, ‘I wish I could do what you do,’ and he asked, ‘Why don’t you try?'”

And so, Henke, a Hoover resident, purchased watercolor supplies because “no one told me watercolors were difficult,” she said with a laugh.

Henke, a mother of two sons and grandmother of two grandsons, soon saw her artwork on display during her first show of 16 paintings.

“My husband said it was like getting paid to eat ice cream, and it kind of was,” she said of her first husband, who has since passed away.

A self-taught artist, Henke read books, traveled to museums and art shows and endured “a lot of trial and error” to develop her own style.

“I didn’t even know what that meant,” she said “How do I know what my style is? I began looking at a body of work, and I thought, ‘Oh, I do have a style. It’s recognizable.'”

To read more about Mary Jean Henke and her art, check out the May 2013 issue of H Life. Find your copy here.