Errington painter breaks the mould

The people who live in Errington have been called everything from hippies to hillbillies, but one thing is for sure, the rural area has no shortage of creative folks many who have retired to the community and discovered a whole new world.

Life in the country is proving a fertile inspiration for Errington painter  Micheline Messner.

Life in the country is proving a fertile inspiration for Errington painter Micheline Messner.

The people who live in Errington have been called everything from hippies to hillbillies, but one thing is for sure, the rural area has no shortage of creative folks many who have retired to the community and discovered a whole new world.

It was a bit of an adjustment for Micheline Messner when she moved to Errington from Ottawa 15 years ago.

She traded life in the city for acreage in the country and settled nicely into her golden years.

But four years ago her world was turned upside down when her grandson Ben was diagnosed with bone cancer at the young age of eight.

After several surgeries, including one that involved the amputation of one leg, Ben is still going strong but lives each day knowing his Osteosarcoma may win the battle.

The fear and stress surrounding her grandson’s ordeal resulted in Messner picking up a paintbrush to keep her mind off the pain and anxiety of her grandson’s journey.

“I needed some escape. My 90-year-old friend who was painting at the time suggested that I start painting.”

On her friend’s advice she took private painting lessons and has been hooked ever since.

“Painting takes me to a world of peace and serenity. It is the best therapy. When I am down I pick up the brush which transports me to a fairy land,” she admits.

Messner said she sees things now that she never knew existed.

“I see the world with different eyes and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us.”

Messner’s paintings cover most of the wall space in her home and each one tells a story and has special meaning.

She has transformed her little house into a studio and art gallery to the point where she is running out of wall space to hang her art work.

That’s great news for visitors who check out the Arts and Crafts Display in the Old Fire Hall on Hi Neighbour Day Saturday, August 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. because Messner is submitting some of her paintings which are in need of a wall to hang from.

It’s the first time she has publicly displayed her work in Errington and Messner said she is very much looking forward to showing all her neighbours a little piece of her world.

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