Mary Matutinovich grew up in Dargaville spending her early years moving between Auckland, Dargaville, and the far north. She moved to Greymouth with her husband, Bill Swan, while in her mid-30s. After Bill died, she moved to Christchurch, and began to paint under the name Mary Swan.
She returned to Auckland in the early 1970s, and settled in Papatoetoe, working at Middlemore Hospital in administration. In her spare time, she would drive out into what was then the counrtyside of Wiri, sketching and painting the local landmarks.
She was encouraged in her endeavours by two established Auckland artists, Garth Tapper and Merton Lacey, the latter being associated with the NZ Women's Weekly. She entered one of her paintings in an art competition at the Easter Show, and won 2nd prize.
In 1976, she married Bernie Tuohy and moved to Foxton, where she continued to paint, and was an inaugural member of the Foxton Art Society, teaching classes in water-colour painting. Many of her works were displayed in local galleries, and she was commissioned to paint for individuals and bodies such as the Red Cross. While now known to everyone as Mary Tuohy, she continues to sign her paintings as Mary Swan.
Travel to USA in 1990, to Canada and USA in 1993, and to Croatia, Ireland and USA in 1997 broadened her horizons. Visiting the Dalmation coast, where her parents grew up, inspired her to paint many Dalmatian scenes, mostly the coastal villages of that region. She hopes to publish some of her works to the Dalmatian community in Auckland.
In 2000, she and her husband moved to Morrinsville, and her paintings now reflect their new social environment, as many of their friends are Dutch Kiwis, and have shown an interest in having paintings of their original homeland.
Featured here is a selection of her work covering three important periods in her progress and interests as an artist:
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