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Picture this: Tina Sharpe still painting at 93

RESERVE MINES — When Tina Sharpe, 93, started taking lessons with the late Thorn Morrow in Marion Bridge 45 years ago, she really didn't have any interest in painting.

Tina Sharpe, Reserve Mines, a member of the Glace Bay Art Group, works on final touches to her painting of a family of bears.  The art group will be holding its annual art show and sale Wednesday and Thursday at the Glace Bay fire hall, noon to 8 p.m. each day.

"I had two friends — including Millie Hayes — that used to go and wanted me to come with them," she said.

Sharpe worked at Toby's in Glace Bay at that time.  She didn't know much about paints or art in general.

"We started going and I never stopped," Sharpe said. "My husband would make all the frames for me."

Her first painting was of her husband, the late Harold Sharpe, fishing in Loch Lomond.

She said a couple weeks later, while at a lesson, Morrow told the group a bunch of schoolchildren were invited in to look at the paintings.

"Thorn was a wonderful artist; he had some magnificent paintings."

As the children were leaving, Morrow asked the kids what painting they liked the best.

"He said they picked mine — said they liked the one of someone fishing in the water," Sharpe said, laughing. "I was mortified because I knew mine was no good and his (Morrow's) were so beautiful."

Sharpe attended Morrow's classes for five years. In 1975, she joined the Glace Bay Art Group that used to meet in a school in the No. 2 area of Glace Bay and now meets in the Glace Bay fire hall.

Sharpe is now the longest-serving member of the club, at about 40 years.  The ages of the members vary, but two other members are also in their 90s.

"There is no one teaching you, with our group you just come and paint," Sharpe said, adding everyone helps one another.

"We meet every Wednesday; I enjoy it."

Sharpe's favourite subject to paint is animals, although she also loves doing natural scenes, such as lighthouses and the water.

She said her two sons will often claim a piece in progress when visiting her.

"They'll come out to visit in the nighttime, will see me working on something and say, 'That one is mine,'" she said.

"My son doesn't have any room for any more of paintings on any of his walls at his bungalow."

Her sons don't paint but they encourage her to stay with it.

"They come to all the shows."

The Glace Bay Art Group Show and Sale is being held at the Glace Bay fire hall, Wednesday and Thursday, from noon to 8 p.m. both days.

Sharpe will have five pieces at the art show, all available for sale. She admits there are pieces she can't part with, including three hanging in her living room.

"They are country paintings — fields and streams. It's the memories from our bungalow and things like that."

Fay Shepard, co-ordinator of the Glace Bay Art Group, said there will be more than 125 paintings at the art show.

The group will also have a memorial tribute to the late Katie MacDonald, a former member who died Feb. 9, 2014, at age 97.

 The art group meets Wednesdays 1-4 p.m.  from September through to June and welcomes new members.

Anyone wishing more information can telephone Shepard at 567-0196.

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