The Art Biz ep. 19: The Investing Artist: Art, Real Estate, and Legacy with Mary Erickson

I met Mary Erickson in person for the first time at the 2016 Plein Air South in Apalachicola, Florida. We bonded over cocktails and oysters. (Mary is the only person who has ever convinced me to eat oysters.)

Mary Erickson painting#5008 Le Coquellcotes (Poppies). Finished painting below.

I was immediately impressed with Mary’s business savvy, as I know you will be. Her art sales have paid for her lifestyle, which is comfortable and adventurous, but far from extravagant. She is a discerning investor and wise with her finances.

Mary says she paints so that she can buy real estate so that she can collect art–paintings by other artists. You’ll hear all about it in the latest episode of the Art Biz Podcast. You’ll also hear about:

  • How she started selling and why she believes being involved in your community is key to an artist’s success.
  • How she keeps up with the 8 different galleries that represent her.
  • Mary’s legacy project: High Ridge Gardens, a bird sanctuary and artist retreat on her property, which she will leave with a funded endowment.
©Mary Erickson, #5008 Le Coquellcotes (Poppies) . Oil on linen, 48 x 60 inches. Used with permission. Available at Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art in Charlotte, NC.
©Mary Erickson, #5008 Le Coquellcotes (Poppies). Oil on linen, 48 x 60 inches. Used with permission. Available at Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art in Charlotte, NC.

And you’ll learn the one finance book Mary recommends you read (if you only read one).

I hope you’re inspired by this conversation with Mary Erickson.


Music: Keep It Simple by Wildermiss. Used with permission.

Listen to or subscribe on iTunes.

About My Guest

Preferring to work on location en plein air, Mary Erickson travels extensively. She creates field studies and then returns to the studio to produce her large painting.

Whether solitary excursions (like scouring the coast of Maine for painting sites with her rescue dog, Maggie) or group efforts with other professionals or students, Mary believes these painting trips are essential to an artist's career and growth. See Mary’s art on her website ( and read about High Ridge Gardens and her artist retreat (

Mary Erickson with her rescue dog, Maggie, painting on location in Maine.


Share this post

Does your digital presence do justice to the quality of your art?

A comprehensive checklist to do a quick review of everywhere you show up online. FREE with opt-in.

56 thoughts on “The Art Biz ep. 19: The Investing Artist: Art, Real Estate, and Legacy with Mary Erickson”

  1. Dear Alyson Stanfield,
    I truly enjoyed this discussion with Mary Erickson! I’ve a sister who has a degree in Art from the University of Hartford she is also a bird lover and amazing too. Mary, you are amazingly resourceful and I love how stubborn you are! You find the way! Mary, You remind me of Beatrix Potter she took care of her friends in the lake country too. All the Best ~ HappyPainting ~ Sylvina Rollins

  2. Mary! You are so cool!. I live in the other corner of the US, so I probably wont be running into you, Too bad because I want you to be my best friend.

  3. Hi Alyson and Mary, just finished walking my 12 year old black lab, when he has to go better move, but just before I was copied Alyson thanks for sending your Podcast with Mary. I think the part I resonate more with Mary about is artists helping other artists. The late Jack White and his wife Mikki who is still painting in San Antonio, are so kind. I wrote to Jack asking a few questions, he was an author in a major National Art Magazine, and then the story, as it goes, for 8 years he and his wife Mikki taught me so many things about oil painting ( and living). In 2011 Marge Me and Bubba packed up our truck and tailer and went to Santa Fe, NM to meet them and attend their two day art seminar with a body of really hard working artists. I never forget deep friendships, to this day still converse with Mikki, Jack passed away in 2016. Loving painting ducks the way I do, now many others are interested and want to paint in my workshops, so I am helping new artists paint in oils beautiful duck stamp type painting starting from sketch to finished and varnished work. I appreciated the time and the patience you both took today to share this very informative Pod cast, many thanks to you both. Today I just wrote about in my blog about my Grandfathers bird sanctuary. Let’s say it for the birds!!!

    1. Jim,

      I had the pleasure of meeting Jack and Mikki in Sarasota years ago. A truly inspiring couple. Jack’s words of wisdom have stayed with me, too, throughout my career. Churchill’s words rang true for Jack- “You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give.”

  4. The segment about the production of prints is a very good, not able to keep up the demand of the creating orginals. Is there a company that you can reccomend that does prints at lower quantity or one at a time when the order comes in?

    1. I just wanted to reply with my favorite art printer, in case you don’t have a local printer to work with. It’s I have been very happy with their paper and print quality, though there is a learning curve to preparing your files for upload.

    2. Lori,

      I have used Colson Printing in Valdosta, Georgia for years. Their quality and customer service is the best. You can send your originals to them, and they do it all.

  5. Wow! Thank you both for this podcast. I sooo wish I was still in my early 20’s so I could follow in Mary’s footsteps. However, Mary your talent is above & beyond! I love your bird sanctuary and artist retreat too.

    1. Amy,

      It is never too late to follow your heart, and live your purpose. Each of us has our own path to follow. We are lucky as artists, to see the world as we do. Thank you.

    1. Hi Paula,

      I have found that the BEST artists never hold back on sharing information, sharing techniques and anything else to help other artists. The ones who don’t share are the ones least confident of their abilities. I have been the recipient of advice and kindness from many of my peers, and teachers, and always hope to be the same, and to pass on that attitude of generosity and abundance.

  6. This was a wealth of useful information and inspiration. Her experience about making vertical prints available in pairs, etc. was interesting and a perspective I had never heard before. And her philosophy on giving back resonates with me.

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      In the frame shop I dealt with some wonderful art salesmen, and I paid attention! Another tidbit, print in standard sizes (or standard sizes divided in half) so that framing is more economical.
      Thank you for commenting.

  7. Just perfect. Inspiring and lovely Alyson. I am grateful to you for your extraordinary work and Mary for her honest and real sharing of art and wisdom. Glad I wa paying attention:)

  8. David Paul Bayles

    Thank you Mary and Alyson for a great conversation!

    In addition to all the great information you shared with us Mary, I was moved by your voice. There is a calm and deep resonance of peace, purpose and contentment. How you’ve created and designed the life you want to live on your terms is very inspiring. Thank you for shining your light!

  9. Thank you, Mary and Alyson, I enjoyed your great conversation. So many wonderful take-aways! Mary, I stayed and painted at High Ridge Gardens many years ago when you were beginning the journey. I was there with Amy Evans and Julie Hayes. We still talk about how wonderful that time was and what a special place you created and so graciously shared with us. You gave us free reign in your studio, and I remember being so impressed by the sheer number and beauty of all the 5X7 plein air studies you had in your files. What a lesson in the importance of plein air work, and dedication to what you do!Congratulations on all your successes – definitely well earned.

  10. This was a profoundly inspiring and thoroughly grounded conversation, thank you Mary and Alyson. Making the right choices, abiding by them and indeed careful observation do open whole new vistas. Like all of Alyson’s podcasts these should be listened to time and again to get the full gist of the subject at hand which is worth the attention. Also thanks for mentioning the book, Financial Peace.

    A further point that makes this talk profound is the hell our environment quite often goes through, I do not know who much more earth can take, people like Mary Erickson make the difference. There is this calm of spirit and purpose that are worth emulating.

    1. Gihan,

      It is up to us who care, to leave property that will be untouched for future generations, and to protect the earth. We can all make a difference. Thank you.

  11. Loved this podcast! Thanks so much, Alyson & Mary!
    As I am just one year into my own art business, Mary, your story has touched me. So many of your insights and experiences made me think, “Yep! Amen!” and “Right on!” It’s especially worth noting that getting to where you are did not happen overnight and your success is the result of lots of hard work, goal-setting and paying attention. This podcast has inspired me!

  12. Kudos to Alyson for such a thoughtful interview and to Mary for the sharing of yourself so openly with such kindness. You are an amazing painter and more so a treasure of a person. So great for you to bring up Dave Ramsey, his teaching has been instrumental in my journey as well. Thank you!

    1. Barbie,

      You are welcome. Dave Ramsey’s wisdom helped me build the foundation. The real estate books with Robert Kyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad)were great information, too. Thank you for listening.

  13. Wonderful inspiration you are, Mary! I want to be you, in my next life! I’m in the process of liquidating/quitting my other art businesses and concentrating solely on my Fine Art. A semi-retirement, if you will. This was just the positive inspiration I needed to finally let go of all my “divisions”, quit chasing every dime, and know that I can concentrate on ONE thing and still make it!

  14. 100% delightful and inspiring. I was sitting out on my deck timing 4 different heat sets for my fiber business with the wind blowing thru the trees, sunny, and peaceful.

    It was perfect timing to listen to this as I work for my fall show season. And one of the few times the air was not polluted with unnatural sounds, as has been the case all summer.

    It was wonderful…

    Thank you for sharing your journey.

  15. Carol,

    Thank you. Your art is amazing! Your deck sounds like High Ridge, sans the unnatural noises. Come visit when you come to Fletcher in the Fall. I am about 2 1/2 hours away.

  16. Mary, is was a joy to listen to this! You have always encouraged and inspired other Artist, while supporting the community- be it a town, endeavor, or group. I will never forget how you gave me a place to stay on my journey- and long before that- introduced me to outdoor painting because you felt it was important for our little town to have their own Artist’ that worked together to reflect it. You are a continual Art Muses extrodinare.

  17. What a delightful talk, very inspirational! I loved hearing Mary’s story, journey, beautiful paintings and her love for birds. The bird sanctuary sounds so beautiful, birds are so dear to me.

    1. Thanks for listening. I love sharing Mary and her story with everyone. She is an inspiration on so many levels.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

Are you presenting yourself in the most professional manner online?

Get The Artist’s
Online Presence Audit

48 places to check to make sure you are ready when someone runs into you online. Free with optin.

*You will also receive updates about new podcasts, blog posts, and programs. You can opt out at any time.

Privacy + Terms