Mary Gow, Welcome to ArtSpirit7!

Welcome to ArtSpirit7 from Mary Gow!

“When the artist is alive in any person,
whatever her kind of work may be,
she becomes an inventive, searching, daring,
self-expressing creature.

She becomes interesting to other people.
She disturbs, upsets, enlightens, and
she opens ways for a better understanding.

Where those who are not artists are trying to
close the book, she opens it, shows there
are still more pages possible.”

– Robert Henri, from the book, The Art Spirit

The Art Spirit was first published in 1923 as a collection of the heartfelt notes and lectures of Robert Henri, a 20th century painter and influential teacher and lecturer who taught at the New York Art Students League in the 1920’s.

ArtSpirit7 was created to explore/celebrate the artistry of living every day with a passion for seeking “ways for a better understanding,” as Henri suggested.

The Art Students League holds a special place in my heart because I followed my intuition to study at this atelier. I was there 6 decades after Henri had taught there. Notable artists including Georgia O’Keeffee, Jackson Pollack, and Thomas Hart Benton had studied and walked through those same halls at the League.

The number “7” was chosen because it is a special number in the pattern of life – 7 days of the week, 7 colors of the rainbow, 7 musical notes, 7 chakras, 7 ancient wonders of the world, etc. Plus I am that number in my family!

This blog began in 2010 and since that time I’ve considered changing the name because I don’t write solely about art. I write about habits, healing, and health too. The name remains, since there’s an art to living every day artfully, and the 7, the art, and the spirit encompass that.

It is my hope you find practical inspiration and tips you can use!

Mary Gow

P.S. To get notices of new blog posts and special offers only available to subscribers, sign up for ArtSpirit7 notifications.

"Eternal Essence," photo by Mary Gow

“Eternal Essence,” photo by Mary Gow


Read a review of Mary’s art from the San Francisco Examiner.

“Your work is beautiful!”
Leslie Katz, Arts Editor, San Francisco Examiner

“Stunning work in every medium!”
Jake Berry

“Refreshing . . . takes us back to what photography is all about.”
Marvin Wax, Graphic Designer, Photographer and Author of Chronicle Books’ bestseller, Eichler Homes

-“Pure invention, challenging the viewer to consider the possibilities of the image.”
Robert Buelteman of The Buelteman Studio (about Mary’s photograms)

“The colors in your abstract work are so vivid and alive–and then the black and white. Just lovely. Haunting. (Even the photographs tend towards the abstract: much tension there between a recognizable “image” and our perception of the “purity” of lines and related spaces. It’s as if an other consciousness were pulling at us as we look at the world.”
Jack Foley, Poet/Performer/Writer and Host of KPFA 94.1 FM’s “Cover to Cover” 3 PM (Pacific Time) on Wednesdays

“You are definitely inspired and I can feel your emotions just by looking at your art. I particularly fancy
the paintings because I love paint and yours are very expressive. They are exquisite.”
Denise Sils, Artist and Entrepreneur

“It’s so lovely to see your paintings and artwork online. Thanks for the lovely card with the reproduction. It’s on my desk.”
Frank Clifford, Author/Publisher/Consultant/Astrologer and Director of London School of Astrology

“Your articles are well written and have your sense of humor and compassion. I enjoyed your postings, especially “3 Discoveries About Intuitive Painting.” I just joined an expressive art Meetup group and the instructor mentioned intuitive painting (1st I’d heard of it). Your description has peaked my curiosity – I may take that class after all! So enjoyed seeing your artwork! Cheers!”
M. E. Wilcox, Photographer and Art Educator

“Read through some of your posts. Particularly enjoyed (as well as learned a lot) from the article about Hatch Show letterpress. Quite an art they are keeping alive.”
Mary Kerr, Documentary Filmmaker, Producer of San Francisco’s Wild History GrooveVenice West and the LA Scene, The Beach, and Swinging in the Shadows, more at

“Love ArtSpirit7! I can’t wait to hang around here more and learn. You are inspiring that art part of myself and I long to get more in touch with that again. I LOVE your art….it is all so full of beauty, color, and meaning. Thanks for creating this site and sharing who you are.”
Annie Kuiper, Web Designer