Bathing Beach on Chappy

Bathing Beach on Chappy

Mary Drake Coles


Mary’s first art teacher was Vaclav Vytlacil who came to the Vineyard as a young man to visit a friend of her mother’s. 

Specializing in watercolors, her vibrant, impressionist paintings of landscapes, beach scenes and still-lifes are all the more remarkable as she lost her sight in the mid-1950’s due to glaucoma, and she had use of only her right arm as a result of childhood polio. 

Mary lived and painted in Europe, NYC, and Haiti. 

She made numerous trips around the United States and abroad with friends, companions, and each of her Seeing Eye guide dogs.

When asked how she knew when a painting was done, she said her friends wouldn’t lie to her and would let her know when she needed to do more. Through her years and her infirmaries, she continued to work. Painting was her reason for being.