Receiving her painting degree from Louisiana State University, Mary spent a significant portion of her young adult life shying away from creating artwork. As a young child, she was always creative and as she graduated from Baton Rouge High School, she decided she wanted to major in fine art. When she was 18, she attended a small liberal arts college in North Caroline to pursue a painting degree. After her first semester, she was told she wasn't a strong enough painter to continue in the program. After leaving that college after the first year, it would be 4 years before Mary was able to paint again.