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Mary Jo Kennard | artist

I feel it is important for an artist to look to the past and draw upon elements from the work of those who have gone before us, without being derivative, and to continue looking at art from early paintings to the most contemporary. I'm influenced by many artists: from the early Renaissance painters to mid-20th Century masters and my own contemporaries.

Why

I use subject matter only as a vehicle, an excuse for pushing the paint around on the canvas. The paint quality, color, and composition are what it's all about in my work. The subject matter can be anything, using whatever I have on hand or see out my window. In recent exhibits I've shown many still lifes, and a series of large paintings of doors.

Doors

The door paintings could be looked upon as icons, or still lifes of a sort. Or someone could make a case for the psychological implications of painting open doors, closed doors, dark doors, etc. I enjoy the freedom of expression I have in painting them – the chance to paint from my own soul in such works. The first ones featured real doors, but I began painting the last few out of my imagination. Those are the most difficult, as well the most satisfying to paint.