ART WORKS

Af­ter meet­ing weekly to paint, Mil­lie’s Mar­vels show work at Corn­wall Pub­lic Li­brary art gallery

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY SALLY COLE

Mil­lie Kikkert likes meet­ing peo­ple and she also en­joys mak­ing things with her hands.

So in 2011 she or­ga­nized a cre­ative craft ses­sion at Burn­side Pres­by­te­rian Church in Clyde River.

“I wanted to get a group go­ing for the ladies in the church,” says the 85-year-old New Haven res­i­dent, with a sweet smile.

The ses­sion was such a suc­cess with the “three or four” women in at­ten­dance mak­ing pretty lights out of glass blocks that they de­cided to meet again the next week. At the next ses­sion, the women brought their knitting along.

“Then they got the idea to start paint­ing be­cause I’ve been paint­ing for years,” says Kikkert.

Fast for­ward six years, and the paint­ing group has grown to a dozen or more women who get to­gether on Tues­day morn­ings for cre­ativ­ity and fel­low­ship at the church.

“We usu­ally start at 9:30 and paint un­til about 11. Then there’s lunch – ham and cheese sand­wiches and cin­na­mon rolls – fol­lowed by cups of tea.”

Now, af­ter many cre­ative morn­ings, they are show­ing their work in a new ex­hi­bi­tion, Mil­lie’s Mar­vels.

“As you can see, they all picked it up,” says Kikkert, point­ing to the paint­ings that line the walls in the Corn­wall Pub­lic Li­brary gallery, lo­cated at the Corn­wall town hall, off the Trans-Canada High­way.

Audrey MacPhee of Clyde River is one of the women whose work ap­pears in the show, which con­tin­ues un­til Sept. 8.

“It’s mar­velous be­cause Mil­lie in­spires all of us. I never held a

paint brush un­til Mil­lie en­cour­aged me,” says MacPhee, stand­ing next to her work, “Papa’s Place”.

Group mem­ber Lois Gass agrees.

“Mil­lie has a lot of pos­i­tive en­ergy and gives us lots of ideas and ex­tra help if we need it,” says Gass, stand­ing next to her work, “Fam­ily Mail­box”.

Be­sides re­ceiv­ing in­spi­ra­tion from Kikkert, the weekly ses­sions pro­vide respite, a needed back from the stress of ev­ery­day life.

“When I started com­ing, we had our own busi­ness so I found it very re­lax­ing. I still do,” says Jean Beer of Corn­wall.

And, af­ter re­tir­ing from work, it’s also a chance for fel­low­ship.

“I love see­ing friends ev­ery Tues­day morn­ing. It’s a ladies morn­ing out,” says Ada Drum­mond, with a warm smile.

While ev­ery­one ben­e­fits, per­haps it is Kikkert who re­ceives the great­est bless­ing of all.

“Art and friend­ship is a great com­bi­na­tion. It just brings joy to my life and it keeps my art ac­tive.

“It also gives me some­thing to look for­ward to each week. So I’m not sit­ting home wor­ry­ing about my­self.”

Mil­lie’s Mar­vels show­ing their work at Corn­wall Pub­lic Li­brary art gallery

SALLY COLE/THE GUARDIAN

Mil­lie Kikkert shows her paint­ing, “Block­house”. The 85-year-old New Haven artist is the driv­ing force be­hind Mil­lie’s Mar­vels, a group of women who get to­gether for paint­ing and fel­low­ship at Burn­side Pres­by­te­rian Church on Tues­day morn­ings. Their group art show is cur­rently on view at the Corn­wall Pub­lic Li­brary art gallery.

SALLY COLE/THE GUARDIAN

Audrey MacPhee holds her paint­ing, “Papa’s Place”, at the Corn­wall Pub­lic Li­brary art gallery. She’s a mem­ber of Mil­lie’s Mar­vels.

SALLY COLE/THE GUARDIAN

Lois Gass shows her “Fam­ily Mail­box” paint­ing.

SALLY COLE/THE GUARDIAN

Donna Clow and her “Cabin in the Snow”.

SALLY COLE/THE GUARDIAN

Betty Watts, and her paint­ing called Lake­side.

SALLY COLE/THE GUARDIAN

Ada Drum­mond shows her fawn paint­ing, “Mom, I’m Lost” at the Corn­wall Pub­lic Li­brary art gallery.

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