About Mary Lou

Mary Lou Peters lives and paints in beautiful northern Michigan.  The location of her home near the tip of Michigan’s lower peninsula provides nearby access to her favorite place to paint—Mackinac Island.  Right outside her windows she's surrounded by flower gardens that present an ever-changing gift of inspiration for many of her paintings.

She prefers to paint en plein air whenever she can, but living in northern Michigan presents a set of circumstances making that impractical for at least half the year.  At those times she paints in her tiny studio using photos while dreaming of the beautiful warm days ahead when she can again take to the outdoors.

Her goal when painting is always to capture the fun nature of the north country. She has developed her own distinctive artistic style--a whimsical approach to common themes.

She claims the best of all worlds—being crazy busy in summer then having the winter to reflect, plan, travel, and work at her leisure on paintings for the next summer season.

When traveling, Mary Lou takes along a sketchbook journal to document the places she’s been.  She’s filled eighteen journals with vignettes of her travels—quick sketches done with a limited palette and specially modified brushes she carries in a handy, small shoulder bag.

Mary Lou loves being an artist.  Her favorite painting experiences are when she’s just free to have fun and play around with the paint.  She hopes that her paintings leave viewers feeling happy and wishing they were in the places she has painted.

“Every time I approach a fresh piece of paper I get excited,” she says.  “How will I treat the subject?  What will I learn from this project?  Watercolor is a medium that is never boring.  It’s a joy to watch watercolor paint do its own thing on the paper, sometimes producing amazing results.”

Mary Lou is a member of the Michigan Watercolor Society.  Her work is in collections throughout the United States and new works may be viewed at Little Luxuries  Artist Market and Lilacs and Lace on Mackinac Island.

Mary Lou's watercolor classes are in high demand. In Michigan she teaches in her home studio, in Mackinaw City, on Mackinac Island, and in various locations in northern Michigan. During her winter stays in Florida she is based on Sanibel Island where she teaches at the BIG Arts Center.

 Her students call her teaching style relaxed, encouraging, energetic, and always positive.

 Her classes are for all skill levels--her specialty is beginners, but she also has ways to challenge more experienced students. She offers introductory classes, extended skill building classes, and specialty classes, such as retreats and small private groups. Check out the Classes section of this website and see if there's something you'd like to learn more about.

Charming..whimsical, and a delight!


Mary Lou, your beautiful paintings evoke warm, peaceful thoughts. Thank you!


I love your paintings. You always make me smile.


Mary Lou's cover for the 2012 Mackinaw Area Visitors Bureau Visitors Guide