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Acrylic artist inspired by her surroundings

Marilyn Ridsdale artwork on display until the end of the month at the Art 10 Gallery.
Marilyn Ridsdale holds her acrylic painting titled Stephenson Point Nanaimo out front of the Art 10 Gallery at the Nanaimo North Town Centre.

There is no shortage of colour at one art gallery in the city’s north end.

Currently on display at the Art 10 Gallery are nine acrylic paintings by local artist Marilyn Ridsdale, who is the gallery’s featured artist for March.

The paintings, which depict many popular locations such as Buttertubs Marsh, Neck Point Park, Westwood Lake, Maffeo Sutton Park, Stephenson Point and the Nanaimo River are part of her exhibit at the gallery titled, Local Colour II.

“They are all local scenes,” Ridsdale said.

Ridsdale immigrated to Canada from Wales at a very early age and spent most of her childhood living in North Vancouver.

In 1992, she and her husband moved to Nanaimo, where they have remained ever since.

Shortly after her relocation to the Harbour City, Ridsdale, who mainly used watercolours and India inks in her work, decided it was time to explore acrylics.

“At that point there were not a lot of acrylic painters in Nanaimo. There were some, but not a lot,” she said. “Most people were doing watercolours and so I wanted to do something different.”

Ridsdale, who has since become an acrylic painting instructor for the City of Nanaimo, says she  loves enhancing colours and stylizing.

“Colour is my No. 1 interest,” she said. “I try to do things like stylize and I sure try to change the colours up.”

Ridsdale began painting all nine of the featured pieces on location, which was a challenge for her.

“I usually take photographs, but this past summer a couple of us got together and we went out to locations and started there,” she said. “It was very cool but it was very hard.”

Although Ridsdale is inspired by her surroundings, she draws artistic inspiration from the Group of Seven.

“They were so brave for their time and I admire that,” she said. “It seems to fit with Canada.”

Ridsdale’s work remains on display until Tuesday (March 31). For more information, including gallery hours, visit

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