My painting is a response to memory and color in the landscape and the architecture of a place.
My recent work has focused less on narrative, a challenge to make value, shape and color stand in for stories already told, pulling at the edges of reality to get to a deeper resonance of place.
Molly has always been an artist: as an interior designer, art teacher, potter and photographer, and now as a painter.
Starting as a painting major at Oregon State University but due to more practical concerns; she graduated from the University of Oregon in Interior Design then spent the next five years in New York City and rural Vermont working for architectural firms. She taught design at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Molly received a master's degree at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI. She then moved west to Aspen, Colorado and taught photography at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School, made pottery at the Anderson Ranch and owned a framing business.
Molly settled in Seattle, married, and worked in interior design before taking some time off to raise two lovely daughters.
Now able to return to her love of painting, she began studying at Seattle Academy of Art (now Gage Academy). As one of the first mentored students, she worked with Michael Stasinos, studied drawing with Margaret Davidson, watercolor with Tom Hoffmann, oil painting with Mitch Albala, as well as workshops and classes with Kurt Solmssen, Charles Emerson, and many others. She studied with Maddine Insalaco and Joe Vinson in Italy on four occasions.
Molly and her family are part-time residents of Lopez Island in the San Juan Islands, WA. The beauty of this island home continues to be a source of inspiration with its great opportunities for painting outside. Painting on site is so important that she travels to the southern California desert in winter.
Molly is thrilled to have the opportunity to pursue her passion for art and gives heartfelt thanks to her husband Tom for his support and encouragement.
- University of Oregon B.A. Interior Design 1965
- Rhode Island School of Design, M.A. 1969
- Gage Academy, Seattle WA 2003-2009
- Etruscan Places, Buonconvento, Italy 1999, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2011
- Stuart Shils Workshop, Sedona AZ 2011
- 2020 WPW Juried Show, "Present Tense ", Karla Matzke Gallery, Camano Isl, WA
- 2019 Solo Show, The Hamlet Presents Molly Preston, Lopez Island, WA
- 2019 Women Painters of Washington Gallery, "Blue ", Seattle, WA
- 2019 Arts at the Port, Anacortes Arts Festival Anacortes, WA
- 2019 Women Painters of Washington Gallery, "On Location ", Seattle, WA
- 2018 "Annual Small Works Show ", Karla Matzke Gallery, Camano Isl, WA
- 2018 WPW Juried Show, "Play of Light ", Karla Matzke Gallery, Camano Isl, WA
- 2018 19th Annual City of Palm Springs Juried Art Show. Palm Springs, CA
- 2018 Women Painters of Washington Gallery, "Duets ", Seattle, WA
- 2017 September 2-3, Lopez Island Studio Tour, Lopez Island, WA
- 2017 Women Painters of Washington Gallery, "Threads ", Seattle, WA
- 2017 PAWA juried show "Small Gems", Scott Milo Gallery, Anacortes, WA, Honorable Mention Award
- 2017 EAFA Open Abstract Show, Kirkland WA, Certificate of Merit Award
- 2017 18th Annual Juried Palm Springs Art Show, Palm Springs, CA
- 2017 La Quinta Art Museum, "Tell me a story: Women in the Arts", La Quinta, CA
- 2016 Lopez island community center group show, WA
- 2016 Southwest Arts Festival, Indio, CA
- 2015 Fourth Corner Frames Bellingham, WA
- 2015 "Itinerant" Dakota Arts Gallery, Bellingham,WA
- 2015 Solo Show, Desert Art Center, Palm Springs, CA
- 2014 Group Show, Colin Goode Gallery, Lopez Island, WA
- 2013 Group Show, Lopez Community Center, Lopez Island, WA
- 2013 Group Show, Colin Goode Gallery, Lopez Island, WA
- 2012 September Lopez Island Studio Tour, Lopez Island, WA
- 2012 Juried gallery member, Desert Art Center, Palm Springs, CA
- 2012 Edmonds Art Festival, Edmonds WA
- 2012 14th Annual Juried Palm Springs Art Show "Palm Springs Weekend" Palm Springs, CA
- 2012 "Through Foreign Eyes, International Artists and Civita Castellana" Civita Castellana Italy
- 2011 Solo Show, Colin Goode Gallery, August
- 2010 Solo Show, Colin Goode Gallery, August
- 2009 Group Show,Colin Goode Gallery Lopez Island WA
- 2009 Gage Alumni Show, Seattle WA
- 2008 Group Show,Colin Goode Gallery Lopez Island WA
- 2008 Group Show Depot Gallery, Anacortes WA
- 2008 Alumni Show Gage Academy, Seattle, WA
- 2007 Alumni Show Gage Academy, Seattle WA
- 2006 Landscape Invitational Show, Gage Academy, curated by Mitch Albala
- 2005 Third Place Student Show Seattle Academy of Art, Seattle, WA
- 2005 Small Works Show Seattle Academy of Art, Seattle, WA
- 2004 Student Show Seattle Academy of Art, Seattle, WA
- Desert Arts Center, Palm Springs, CA 2012 ‐ present
- Colin Goode Gallery, Lopez, WA 2008 – 2015
- Women Painters of Washington
- Plein Air Washington
- Lopez Artist Guild 2011–present
- 2011-present volunteer drawing instructor for Palm Springs middle schools through combined program with the Desert Art Center.
- 2011 Shiny Apple Award from Palm Springs unified school district for contributions to arts education.
See more of Molly's work on her website.