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Art exhibit opens at museum

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Vi Plumridge is what you might call a late bloomer. And if she has a motto, it’s probably, “It’s never too late to learn.”

The local artist was at the Fort Frances Museum last night to attend the grand-opening of an exhibit of her works—consisting of pen-and-ink, pen-and-ink with watercolour, and oils—mostly depicting town landmarks and historic buildings and sites.

Plumridge, one of the founding members of the Fine Line Art Gallery here, is a recipient of the Heritage Award from the Fort Frances Museum.

The exhibit is part of the town’s centennial celebrations.

What is unusual, perhaps, is that while most of the scenes are from the early 20th century, Plumridge didn’t seriously pick up a brush and pallet until fairly recently.

“I only started 12 years ago,” she noted.

So what took her so long?

“I guess I was busy raising a family,” Plumridge explained. “When I was a kid, I liked to draw, but I never really thought about it. I guess the time and the place were finally right.”

Perhaps it also was her shyness that kept her from exploring her hidden talent until recently.

“I wouldn’t even say ‘boo’ to anybody, so I guess nobody really paid attention,” she recalled.

People are starting to pay attention now, it seems, and Plumridge certainly has made up for lost time. Five of her works already have been sold and the rest are on the block.

She said part of the influence and motivation came from watching others demonstrate techniques on television.

“I was watching Bob Ross on TV and it looked like it was easy enough to do,” she remarked. “That’s where I got the idea of wet-on-wet work and I now use a lot of that technique.”

Plumridge said she particularly likes the wet-on-wet idea for depicting background skies and foreground reflections, and there are numerous examples of these in her paintings as well as several plain pen-and-ink sketches.

Some 43 examples of her work will be hanging at the museum until May 31. After that, they will be on display throughout June and July at the Fine Line Gallery (529 Mowat Ave.)

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