Mary Frances-Tuck

Born Mary Frances Trumbull in Vancouver, BC, I graduated from UBC the 1940s. After the war I married William Donald Campbell Tuck, an officer with the Seaforth Highlander Regiment.

We had three children. When they were small, I attended night school courses (UBC, the Art Gallery) in Drawing and Painting with excellent teachers. When I was able, I took daytime lessons with Peter Aspell, a fine teacher. He was highly encouraging, and suggested I attend the Vancouver School of Art (Now Emily Carr College of Art and Design) as a full time student – a four year program.

I loved being there. I studied under Bob Michener. Upon graduation in 1978, I established a studio on Granville Island with my wonderful friend Sheila Lawson. We shared a studio for 10 years.

Our first show was on Granville Island. Later, My first solo show was at the Phoenix Gallery, and later became a regular exhibitor at the Diane Farris Gallery. Later I also had shows at the Atelier Gallery.

In the late 1990′s I was commissioned to create three paintings for the Hotel Vancouver’s Griffin Room.

For several years my painting was on hold as my husband’s health deteriorated. It was a sad and difficult time.

I returned to being creative and painted again, having a show at Gallery 88 in 2012. Still life paintings were my focus – and my mentor was Henri Matisse. His simplicity, his colour speak to me.

I felt an inner motivation to express the joy of life and practice the “art of celebration” using ordinary objects: chairs, tables, vases, plants, flowers, fruits. I employed patterns and vivid colours. My materials were gouache and pastels when painting on paper, and acrylic and oil sticks for canvas.

The introduction of elephants in my work came after a journey to Kenya and Tanzania. I feared they would become extinct. These magnificent beasts inspired a series of paintings.

Art is the evocation of the inexpressible. Intuition guides the painter to see beyond the visible. My decision to pursue this career was amazing, wonderful and one of the best in my long life.