As a child, Marianne loved to draw. Art was always her favorite subject in school. When she was 12 years old, she saw an advertisement for an art school that would accept any students who were able to draw the puppy included in the advertisement. Marianne drew the puppy and her father sent it away for her. She patiently waited for a reply. Finally she received a letter saying that she had been accepted to art school! The only problem for 12 year old Marianne was that she had to be 21 to attend. As time passed, she realized that the whole thing was just a way to get money from her.
However she did not let this disappointment stop her from expressing her artistic side. She did her first charcoal drawing of her boyfriend while attending the Herzing School for Medical Terminology. Short of funds for Christmas, she drew his portrait as a gift to him. Her fellow students and friends at school told her that her boyfriend looked like Jesus. Perhaps that is why Marianne ending up marrying Ron, her boyfriend and first live model.
It was an altogether different experience that led Marianne to begin to paint. At only 17 years of age, Marianne and Ron’s beloved daughter Rhonda passed away due to complications from Cystic Fibrosis. A friend told Marianne that one way to help with the grief of losing her daughter was to find something to do that wasn’t associated with the time she spent with her daughter, to do something totally different. Marianne threw herself into her art.
Her first painting was, of course, of Rhonda. It is displayed here with Rhonda holding a red rose. The red rose signifies the gift that Rhonda’s nurse clinician, Marilyn Lowe, sent to Marianne after Rhonda died. Marilyn cared for Rhonda at the Health Sciences Centre for 17 years when she had to be admitted. Marilyn’s card is displayed with the painting and everyone is invited to read it. It describes Rhonda’s membership in the Society of the Little Flower. This painting took a year to complete and the paint is mixed with many tears.
While Marianne credits Rhonda for being responsible for her true start with painting, she also credits the incredible support of her husband Ron and her daughter Chantal. Ron has never stood in her way and has always been there as Marianne’s most honest critic, helper and cheerleader.
As Marianne says, Chantal was born with a paintbrush in her hand. She is a very successful tattoo artist in Winnipeg and inspires and encourages Marianne not just in her art but in how to be a better person.
As many of our Killarney residents will know, Marianne is also a talented performing artist. She and Ron, along with Glenda Archibald, David and Jeanette Neufeld , can often be found entertaining the crowds at the Killarney Legion and other venues as Boulet Inc.