As an artist and painter, Mary Lillian received her art foundation through studies at Tidewater Community College, Chesapeake, Virginia. She continued her art education by studying with most of the top professionals of this area and many of the nation’s premier artists. During that period, her own work became recognized in several one-artist showings—one being at the Riverview Gallery. Her awards include those received at Haygood Art Show, Great Bridge Woman’s Club Art Show, Emporia Art Show and the prestigious Peoples' Choice Award at the Fair for Arts Show. She has premiered at the Irene Leach Exhibit—the Walter Chrysler Museum, a juried show at the Mariners’ Museum, the Tidewater Artist Association’s Gallery Exhibit and the Portsmouth Art Museum. Private collections of a number of prominent citizens also display her work. Included in the achievements in her field are the offices she has held with the Elizabeth River Artist Association; Secretary and Treasurer, Vice President, and President.
Mary Lillian's involvement with artistic endeavors covers many years. In those years, she designed and made window treatments, illustrated books, designed and painted book covers, taught art in three private schools, and always took the time to help others in her field. It has not been an easy life for her; she has suffered many hardships along the way. The memories of those hardships are seen in the passion she transfers to the viewers of her work. In her fantasy paintings, the viewer can see her need to escape. In her reality paintings, there is clarity, detail and preciseness that flow from her brushes in her determination to relay to the viewer the truth of what she sees. Through all Mary Lillian's work, two things stand out—her devotion to God and her gratitude for the talent He has given her.