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Artist happy to commute to Olds from Three Hills

Kerstin (also known as Shestine) Maxwell is the featured artist in the Olds Art Club fall show and sale, which takes place Saturday, Nov. 2 and Sunday Nov. 3 at the Evergreen Centre. On Saturday the sale runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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Kerstin (Shestine) Maxwell, the featured artist in this fall’s Olds Art Club Show and Sale, works on one of her paintings.

Kerstin (also known as Shestine) Maxwell is the featured artist in the Olds Art Club fall show and sale, which takes place Saturday, Nov. 2 and Sunday Nov. 3 at the Evergreen Centre.

On Saturday the sale runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Sunday it runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Maxwell, who commutes to the Olds Art Club from Three Hills, figures she'll have about 60 art pieces in the show. That could include paintings, cards and other art media.

Maxwell emigrated from Sweden and met her husband in this country. They've been living in Three Hills since about 1994.

Maxwell says she had an interest in art back when she was a youth.

"I remember, forever I was doodling or drawing roses — different versions — around my textbooks," she says.

However, she didn't take up painting until four or five years ago. She had kids to raise and over the years, ran a hairdressing business and a cleaning business.

When she was younger, art was not a priority. It wasn't encouraged or discouraged, but her family had a farm to run and all the kids were needed to help out.

After her own kids had left the house, Maxwell learned of a woman who wanted to teach art and set up an art club in Three Hills.

"I knew when I came home that night, 'OK, this is what I'm doing,'" Maxwell says. "It just took that little encouragement, that organized setup to get me going.

"I was studying holistic health actually at the time and as part of that, I realized me being creative and a designer at heart was important. It was important for me to take time to express that somehow."

That club soon folded. However, from there, she learned about the Olds Art Club and has been participating in it ever since.

Maxwell prefers to paint with oils.

"I just like how it feels and how it works," she says. "I like how it feels, how it blends, and also how the colours stay a little bit more true once they dry."

Lately she has been using acrylics, but it's just not the same for her.

"It's been frustrating sometimes, because I'm not in the mindset. My hands are used to the oil and it's not working for me," she says with a laugh. "It's a different technique."

"Part of your brain and nervous system have learned how it works and suddenly it's not working anymore and it gets frustrating, because you've changed your medium.

"So yeah, I do have a growing love for oil paintings and that's where I see I'm heading. When this art show is done, I'm going right back into oils."

Maxwell wrote down what art means to her. Here's an excerpt:

"Do you ever wish that you could calm your mind? Would you like to create a state equal to meditation? To nourish — if you will — mind, body and soul? I, Kerstin Maxwell, have found the creative arts to do that for me.

"When lines, colours, shadows are put down on a surface, it expresses something, and that is great. Do not approach it as a work of art, just do art — express and explore.

"Perfectionism and an emphasis on what other people may like can be enemies of creative expression. Will there be room for improvements? Most likely, but that doesn't make your visual art less valid. Art (is) a way to express and understand truth."