Art as a life-saver

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June 7, 2016 12:00 AM

After attending the Quickdraw event as a spectator for the last couple of years, artist Cheryl Quist will be a participant this year when she'll show her skills in acrylic painting. The Quickdraw takes place in the Lakeland College Cafeteria on June 13.

For Cheryl Quist art is more than just a hobby, it’s a life-saver.
After 20 years as an accountant she had to leave work for medical reasons and could never recover in a way that would allow her to do her job—so she turned to the arts.
“I was struggling with getting back to work and it wasn’t working, so somebody suggested to me that I needed to get a hobby and I had taken some drawing classes when I was a kid in junior high,” said Quist.
“I thought maybe I’ll power along on this for a bit and see if I can sort of make that come to life a little, so it’s been amazing for me; it’s really the best thing that I’ve been able to do to make my life over again after not being able to do my accounting job—so it’s sort of been a life saver.”
Quist, who leans toward water colour, oil and acrylic based painting in terms of her preferred mediums, is taking part in this year’s Quickdraw event at Lakeland College on June 13.
The event is part of the Arts Without Borders festival and allows artists 90 minutes to complete a piece of work, which is then put up for auction to raise money for art bursaries.
For her part, Quist will be making a piece of acrylic painting and said she’s happy the artists get at least 90 minutes to work with.
“I’m glad we have 90 minutes instead of just an hour,” she said, then added about her experiences as a spectator in previous years.
“I have been at the last couple (Quickdraws) and all of it is pretty fast, and also it gives people a little more time to move around and see what other people are doing, what artists are doing, so maybe it’ll help the bids too with an extra half an hour.”
Even though Quist is an actual participant this year, she said she’s most looking forward to the chance for more spectating and taking in some local culture.
She’s interested in seeing what the other artists will be up to, and though this time she won’t be able to wander around with a glass of wine, she is excited to mingle with people and have an art experience.
“I was an accountant and I much prefer working in the arts and so I just enjoy these art opportunities and community stuff and meeting people in the community who are artistic and appreciate the arts,” she said.
Her love of art is a multi-pronged affair, with the aspects of having the work focus her, the experience of just working with colours, and the feeling of accomplishment after finishing a piece all adding to the appeal for her.
“I like the part of being an artists, and the planning and execution of a painting, and also the idea that you could do something, like have a day when you’re making mistakes, and all of a sudden you’re like, wait, that mistake is better then what I can produce, so that’s also fun; I guess it’s the working with the materials that I like the most,” she said.
“Definitely the business side of it I don’t like, and that’s kind of funny because I was an accountant, right? But I like doing the actual work.”

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