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Mary Sumner night sheep
Night Sheep by Mary Sumner
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Mary Sumner seaside dog
Seaside Dog by Mary Sumner
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Mary’s work has long been admired by Sarah Duggan from Baxters Gallery due to its intense colour and usually joyous subject matter which is always uplifting. Devon based, she is well known and widely exhibited in the South West and much in demand by galleries across the country so Sarah is delighted that Mary agreed to join her Smile exhibition along with 8 other artists and makers.
Did you grow up in an artistic family?
My father was a milkman, my mum likes embroidery but that was about it. There are 4 offspring - all are artistic, my brother is a stone carver/stonemason, my sister Rachel is a textile artist specialising in embroideries as well as making recycled driftwood sculptures (both live in Devon as well). My youngest sister is also artistic but has a ‘proper job’ as a photographic archivist.
What art training have you had?
I always wanted to be an artist so I applied to Northampton Art School at the age of 17 to enrol on a foundation course, from there I did my degree in Painting at Farnham. I also did PGCE in Art at Bristol University.
You have lived in Devon for a long time – what was the reason for moving here?
I met my husband at Bristol, he was living in mid Devon so I followed him down here.
What inspires you to paint?
Lots of different things, usually something that sparks interest whilst out & about. I love walking in the countryside, seeing creatures in the wild, farm-buildings, plants, weather - anything, usually uplifting the spirits.
You work across several different mediums – do you have a favourite?
Painting is the thing I enjoy most, although I have recently discovered lino-printing which I love. I am also experimenting with clay/printmaking with an artist friend as we are a doing a joint project together.
You can see Mary’s work in the Smile exhibition at Baxters, 12 Foss St from 24th May and on the website www.baxtersgallery.co.uk
First published May/June 2013 By The Dart