Maxine’s love of painting has been with her since the 70’s. When living in Darwin camping was a way of life and with a convoy of friends and their families they would pitch tents near creek beds and waterfalls and Max would pull out her easel and carefully place it in the middle of these water ways, settle herself into a camping chair, a scotch and coke at arm’s reach, her oils even closer and away she would go painting stunning mirror image art, all of it being luscious territory landscapes. The paintings were that well done, when you looked long enough you could feel the cold spring waters and hear the pandanus trees rustling. Truly majestic work from someone who never went to art classes or was coached, this work then and now is simply a ‘gift’.
During Maxine’s time in Darwin she had two wonderful daughters – Meagan and Leanne. Leanne has a son Brett.
Maxine’s love of the brush and canvas continued, especially with oils for another thirty years. Moving to Perth in the early 80’s her work was not as fluent, but it was still a passion that when the mood caughther, out would come the ‘tools’. Maxine became inspired all over again when her and her husband moved to a property in the hills of Jarrahdale W.A.again showcasing stunning scenery which Maxine couldn’t wait to put on to canvas.
Never ever did Maxine feel that her work was good enough to exhibit let alone sell? Her friends however, believed differently and would want her work on their walls; Max reluctantly gave them her work not because of any other reason than she was convinced they were not ‘that good’ to be placed on display, which they definitely were.
In 2011 Maxine suffered a major stroke affecting all of the left side of her brain. This resulted in her losing most of her function in the right side of her body. Maxine spent months and months in Darwin hospital learning to walk, talk and eat ( using her left hand ) with only the left side of her body fully functional. There was still one passion and love she wanted to try with her left hand now, and that was to see if she could paint.
Maxine can write a few words, but this can get tiresome for her as it does when she talks. Everything Maxine does today must be done in small doses, as the concentration required to do even small tasks exhausts her, except for painting. Maxine can paint for hours on end with a precise steady left hand; her art work is now what you see before you.
Maxine lives and breathes for her art and what she sees at the end of her work. Still to this day she does not see how inspirational she is, bringing out beautiful colours and creating bright, living and wonderful work.
Maxine Howlett, a truly gifted individual that still to this day under estimates just how special and talented she really is.
We love her ….
Maxine has moved into Juniper Hillcrest Residential Aged Care (Geraldton) where she has focussed on her art – learning to work with her non dominant hand – now painting with her left hand -she spends most of each day in her studio corner at Hillcrest continuing to create her pieces of art.