Mary Darley was born in Bethesda, Md just outside Washington DC. Both her father and grandfather were chief cartographers at the National Geographic Society. At an early age, Mary was exposed to culture and nature. As soon as she was old enough, she would travel to work with her father and visit the local galleries on her own. She found great comfort and inspiration as the artwork she most admired appeared to look back at her.
Mary studied art, printmaking, art history, and theology at Rockville Community College, Rockville, Md. Mary also studied at the Institute of Art in Kansas City, MI. She has consistently sold and commissioned works of art throughout her life.
Mary managed a horse farm between 1992-2007, raising a son and daughter. They lived a very humble and simple lifestyle. Everyday, rain or shine, they carried out farm chores, both first thing in the morning and then again each evening. Often as a single mother, the money earned from riding lessons, camps, and art work sold (much of it going unphotographed) would put food on their table.
She is amazed at the human qualities of animals and the animal qualities in humans. She tries to capture the spirit of her subject matter, bringing life to her work. Mary works with acrylic paint, pen and ink, prismacolor and ebony pencils.