May 20, 2022

Charlie Doodle

Unique Art & Entertainment

Sherrill artist, 95, enjoys sharing picturesque landscapes, other works with community

3 min read

SHERRILL — At 95-years-old, Sherrill resident Mary L. Tiffin keeps herself busy and active through her love of art, and that love and care can be seen in every piece, say those who enjoy the opportunity to come and see her works on exhibit.

Tiffin’s journey as an artist started around 30 years ago at the Sherrill-Kenwood Library with an oil painting class by Judy Bond, and now the 95-year-old’s works are featured at the library on its Community Art Wall.

Tiffin’s works often feature mostly landscapes, done using acrylics and watercolors.

“Years ago, when I was younger, I sold a lot of paintings at craft shows,” she said. But now, she’s just happy to make art and share it with the community.

“Tiffin’s work is attracting people of all ages,” said Library Manager Mary Kay Junglen. A notebook was left for people to leave messages for Tiffin, with one parent saying their two boys loved her work and couldn’t stop staring at them. “It’s capturing the attention of everyone, from our toddlers to senior residents. It’s been very well received since she’s so well known in the community. She’s such a kind, warm, and wonderful person. And I think that comes through in her artwork.”

Tiffin’s work features several scenes — rivers, valleys, mountains, and streams amidst nature. Most of the time, she sees something and just decides to paint it.

“People like my son right now, who lives in Colorado, send me pictures,” she said. “It’s a beautiful state, and I’m dying to start painting. And there’s a mountain I’ve been dying to paint from a National Geographic.”

But often, Tiffin paints from her own imagination. When her paintings were being hung in the Sherrill-Kenwood Library, Junglen asked where she saw the covered bridge in one of her paintings. Tiffin replied that she just “made it up.”

Besides her canvass paintings, Tiffin has what she calls “The Tiffin Gallery.” Like something out of a doll house, rooms are set up and feature appropriately sized paintings.

Tiffin did the paintings first, and the rooms were built around them. “The kids really enjoy them,” she said.

When asked for advice for aspiring artists, Tiffin said they should search for someone with experience and learn from them. From there, it’s about finding his or herself and their passion.

“When I think about who I am and what I do, I think of myself as an artist,” Tiffin said. “There are other things that I do, but I feel that I’m an artist.”

“I’ve been doing this for a while, and I’m not as good as some, but I’m better than others,” she continued. “But I know — I’m an artist.”

Tiffin said she hopes to live to 100 and still be painting.

“I pray every day — let me live to be 100 and still be with my paintings. Keep me going.”,121527

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