Mary Unger considers painting “grown-up playing,” something more of us need to do, she said.
The French Creek resident said she is serious about her painting, but she also gets a lot of joy out of the art.
“I like to paint things that touch my heart,” she said, pointing out her paintings of flowers and trees at Cathedral Grove. “You look in these things and you just see the magic of nature.”
Unger hails from New Brunswick where she took some fine arts training before pursuing a career in nursing. She moved to Vancouver Island in 2001 and has taken a number of classes and workshops. Today she paints mostly in acrylic, but likes to experiment with mixed media from time to time, and at the Island Arts Expo last weekend she displayed a piece she made with paints, plaster and even drywall.
“That one was just too much fun,” she admitted.
One of Unger’s favourite subjects to paint today is her granddaughter Maisie, who is five years old and lives in Calgary. Maisie visited the Island for five weeks this past summer and supplied Unger with a lot of photographs for future paintings.
“She’s so cute and she’s fun and she really gets into things,” she gushed.
Unger said her paintings of Maisie never show her face, as the youngster was always busy doing things in tidal pools or chasing hens.
Her granddaughter is also a budding artist and has painted with Unger at The Old School House Arts Centre before.
Unger is a member of the local chapter of Federation of Canadian Artists, DeCosmos Fine Arts Society, and a resident artist at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville.
For more on Unger visit her website www.maryunger.com.