Two new exhibits launched at the Mudpuppy Gallery

Mudpuppy exhibitsMary Kendrick stands with some of the work she has on display at the Mudpuppy Gallery. Her exhibit “50 Years of Fine Art” runs through Oct. 27 and coincides with the gallery’s “Colour Explosion” exhibit. RTT PHOTO BY RON GIOFU


By Ron Giofu


A painting knife and brush gave Mary Kendrick a career that has lasted over 50 years.

Kendrick, a painter from Essex, has her work on exhibit this month at the Mudpuppy Gallery. Her exhibit is titled “50 Years of Fine Art” as the area artist has been painting floral and landscape pieces for over a half-century.

“It’s inspirational,” Kendrick said of why she does it. “You feel you’ve accomplished something at the end of the day when people like it.”

Granddaughter Jana Hallan noted Kendrick’s work has been all over the world. Hallan added her grandmother is still learning new things.

“You keep seeing things differently,” said Kendrick.

Kendrick said she enjoys not having any stress as she gave up a career in hairdressing to pursue painting. Once the paintings started selling, she was able to earn money that way and gave up having to keep appointments.

“I could make a living at it at that time,” she said.

The outdoor scenes are what she specializes in.

“I’m known for florals and landscapes. Those are the things I enjoy,” said Kendrick.

While she is able to paint using the flowers outside her studio window, she also has gone around Ontario painting various scenes she comes across.

“It’s been a great life,” said Kendrick. “I’ve met some wonderful people. It gave me life.”

Kendrick learned painting while in high school and from other instructors and cultivated her own style from there. Her interest in painting began when she entered an art shop and saw brushes and tubes of paint.

“She looked at them and said ‘if only I knew what to do with them’,” said Hallan.

There are 35 of Kendrick’s work at the Mudpuppy Gallery. She doesn’t exhibit as often as she used to but has been as far as Ottawa to paint. She estimates 90-95 per cent of her work is done with a knife.

Kendrick doesn’t paint as much either, joking “I go out to lunch more often now.” However, she still enjoys painting.

“I just keep trying to improve,” she said.

The Mudpuppy Gallery also is exhibiting “Colour Explosion” with artists encouraged to use as much colour as they could.

“It’s on the theme of using brilliant colours,” said Cheryl MacLellan, one of the gallery’s founding members. “It’s been a great show.”

Artist Ken Friesen said he always has been interested in colour but had to get used to muted colours while doing pottery. His paintings allow him to show a bit more colours.

“All of my career I’ve been dealing with colours,” he said. “My personal feeling is the brighter the better.”

Both exhibits runs through Oct. 27.

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