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Gift of a Day Feature Story November 2014
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Art Show Re-Inspires a Painter’s Passion


For many years, Crossroads patient Ilse Maile admired and was inspired by the raw portraits and bold watercolors painted by Vincent Willhem Van Gogh. She learned to paint while in high school but went on to become a registered nurse after college – even so, Ilse’s love of art never faded.

After raising her three sons with husband, Bob, Ilse finally had the time to explore her passion. She went to community classes and subscribed to paint magazines which she devoured from cover to cover. From her deft brush stroke, emerged dozens of bright, colorful paintings of flowers, landscapes and outdoor scenes. She created masterpieces for her family and friends – eventually, inspired to sell some pieces.

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When Ilse became ill, the pain grew and was nearly intolerable. She experienced some relief, not from medicines or physical therapy, but from art. Ilse found that when she concentrated on painting, her tremors would subside and her pain would be reduced to just a dull ache. It was a small breakthrough, but, with everything she was experiencing, her artistic inspiration had started to wane.

Ilse’s Crossroads team agreed that something had to be done torekindle her passion for painting…and, in doing so, help her with the chronic pain caused by her illness. So, they put on an art show – a rare occurrence for a hobby artist. When Ilse heard the news, her entire face lit up! The Van Gogh-inspired artist’s passion for paint returned.

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Ilse filled the showroom with more than 70 different pieces of art on easels, and moved excitedly from visitor to visitor, explaining her technique, her medium. And her constant pain? What pain?!? The only thing constant that day was Ilse’s smile. Close to 100 visitors enjoyed the event, which included refreshments and a short presentation by Ilse. She sold 14 works of art in one afternoon and donated half of the proceeds to Crossroads Charitable Foundation. The remaining proceeds she earmarked for more paint supplies.

Ilse was back! Now, her artwork has helped fuel an impressive comeback for Ilse – both mentally and physically…something sure to even make Vincent Van Gogh proud.

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