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Artistic competitiveness brings out the best in the Boons


2019 Evening of Art starts Jan. 26 at 6:30 p.m.

JOGGINS, N.S. – When it comes to creating art, Mark and Edna Boon spur each other on.

When it comes to the Autumn House Evening of Art, Mark and Edna Boon take the gloves off.

“I have a competitive streak. I love when I beat him,” said Edna.

She did just that at the 2018 Evening of Art.

“Of all the artwork sold at last year’s auction, Edna’s sold for the highest price,” said Mark. “She definitely has people out there who love her work.”

Mark didn’t fare quite as well.

“We bought back one of my paintings,” said Mark. “I paid $200 for my own paintings but, what the hell, it’s a good cause.”

Edna is 82-years-old, and Mark is 81. They’ve been married for 56 years, and have been painting since they were kids.

Edna paints landscapes of the Bay of Fundy and Mark paints whatever comes to mind.

“I like to have fun when I paint,” said Edna. “I don’t know what inspires him. He’s possessed by the devil.”

Mark starts with an idea, and that idea develops as he paints.

“I think the spirit of the painting itself determines what it should eventually be,” said Mark.

That holds true with his wood carvings as well.

“The indigenous people have a saying ‘the spirit of the wood will tell you what to carve’ and I believe it to be totally true,” said Mark. “I might have an idea of how to make the face a certain way but the wood really tells me how to do it.”

Mark likes to paint on a large canvas.

“I like to interact with the painting, and make it come to life. A large canvas allows me to do that. Go big or go home.”

And most of his paintings feature a big blue sky.

“I’m an outdoors person. I like space, I like freedom. I don’t like to be cooped up,” said Mark.

The Boon’s lived on the prairies in Regina for seven years, and that experience inspires his paintings as well.

“I really liked the prairies. I loved the sense of space. The skies out there are spectacular. I think that’s reflective in the paintings.”

Edna wasn’t quite as thrilled with the prairies, but it did have its advantages.

“They say you can see forever, but if you climb up on your car you can see a little more,” she said.

Both look forward to An Evening of Art on Jan. 26 at Amherst Regional High School.

“I’ve always been associated with the women’s movement, and especially with transition houses,” said Edna.

“I’m 82 now, so I can’t participate in that anymore, so submitting a painting for auction is my contribution,” she added. “And it gets you off your ass in the middle of winter.”

Mark agrees, saying it helps beat the January doldrums.

“You get to go out and have an evening of fun,” said Mark.

“The auctioneer, Andy Carter, does a superlative job. He makes it fun,” added Mark. “It’s fun all the way around, and the bottom line is it’s for a good cause. It’s something we look forward to every year.”

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