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Mary Azarian

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Name  Mary Azarian
Role  Illustrator

Education  Smith College
Awards  Caldecott Medal
Mary Azarian Mary Azarian Cards
Books  Snowflake Bentley, A Farmer's Alphabet, Gardener's Alphabet, The Four Seasons of Mary Aza, The tale of John Barleycor
Similar People  Jacqueline Briggs Martin, Mordicai Gerstein, Irving Amen, Randolph Caldecott

Mary azarian illustrator study

Mary Azarian (born 1940) is an American woodcut artist and children's book illustrator. She won the 1999 Caldecott Medal for U.S. picture book illustration, recognizing Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin. It tells about the life of Wilson Bentley. She lives in Plainfield, Vermont. She produces original prints and has illustrated over 50 books.


Mary Azarian wwwteachingbooksnetimagesauthors3349jpg

Mary Azarian-Woodcut Print Maker

Early life

Mary Azarian All Mary Azarian Products

Azarian grew up on her grandfather's farm on the outskirts of Washington, DC. Her grandfather's farm had thousands of chicken along with geese that would bother the customers that came to buy his eggs. Azarian's uncle grew vegetables. Being around her family gardens is what sparked her high interest in it. When she was young, she would spend her time exploring the woods and fields with her pony named Pasty.

Mary Azarian Black and White Mary Azarian39s Wood Block Prints

She began drawing and painting at an early age. In 4th grade, she did her first relief print of woodcuts and enjoyed it very much. This piece of art was a 3" x 4" lino block of an angel with the name NOEL at the bottom. She ran into a problem and learned a valuable lesson from this project; words must be reversed when doing a woodcut. Her finished product read LEON.


Mary Azarian A Christmas Like Helens by Natalie Kinsey Warnock and Mary Azarian

Azarian continued to lino cuts until she later attended Smith College, where she studied printmaking and painting. with one of the great 20th century printmakers, Leonard Baskin.


Mary Azarian About Mary Azarian

After she graduated from Smith College, she moved to farm in Vermont. Azarian and her husband farmed horses, oxen, chickens, a jersey milk cow, a sheep, and a goat. Azarian and her husband made their three sons helped them with their gardens.

Before beginning her career as a full-time artist, Azarian taught in a one-room schoolhouse for three years. After she finished her three years of teaching, she decided she wanted to make a living selling woodcut prints. She began producing her prints by hand and in black and white. Eventually, she began adding color to her prints by hand. Finally, she found an old Vandercook proof press and began using it to produce the prints.

Beginning in the 1970s, Azarian begun illustrating children’s books. Azarian is most interested in working with simple shapes.


Azarian is married to her husband Tom and together they have three sons.

Selected works

  • Snowflake Bentley, written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
  • A Farmer's Alphabet
  • Barn Cat
  • The Four Seasons of Mary Azarian
  • References

    Mary Azarian Wikipedia