‘She just draws you in’: Parksville painter makes amazing art with strangers

'She just draws you in': Parksville painter makes amazing art with strangers

Renowned artist Monk Hiebert has made Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville her summer residence.

When she arrives each May, she eagerly opens her doors to beachgoers, inviting them to join her in a unique artistic experience.

People who she has never met get to share a unique moment over her canvases and leave their mark on them forever.

“What I’m about is not the painting, I’m glad the paintings are beautiful, but what I’m about is relationships,” Monk Hiebert told CHEK News outside her Rathtrevor Beach home on Wednesday.

“She just draws you in without even thinking if you can do it or not,” said Sue McLeod, who was visiting from North Vancouver.

Monk Hiebert has painted in the open air like this for years. She estimated that each vast canvas painting is touched by hundreds of hands. She adds that she can’t count how many paintings she has completed.

“Oh thousands and thousands, I have no idea. But people come from all over,” said Hiebert.

The 66-year-old’s paintings are now the pride of homes in every corner of the globe, and there is a seven-year wait list for one of her originals.

“The paintings are beautiful but it’s not because of anything I did. It’s because of the beauty of the people that paint here, and that beauty and that love of life just comes right through,” said Hiebert.

“I just think it’s so neat that when you see paintings like this, it’s like ‘Kids be careful, don’t touch anything,’ but now they get the opportunity to add to it and it’s super neat. I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Chelsea Helgason, who brought her two children aged five and two to paint with Hiebert.

As this friendly fixture of Parksville’s Rathtrevor Beach returns for another summer of painting, she’s turning strangers into friends with the wave of her paintbrush.

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