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A life on canvas

"I like to see the joy they get doing something they enjoy and like and that they can use and hang in their homes," said Gilbert. "Children's work is so absolutely creative and I actually think Picasso copied the children's work because his creativity and style is so great."

Gilbert said she considers art to be an expression of herself and will always be a part of her, so much so that she goes beyond putting her creativity on a canvas or paper and puts it on the walls of her house.

"I started a style about 40 years ago that I wish I'd put some sort of signature on. I started putting fabric on the walls with liquid starch and now that's done a great deal but I started it and decorated my house like that; it's quite unique and I've also painted on my walls," said Gilbert. "I bought an old window with four panes and in each I have a painting from the different seasons, displayed in my downstairs bathroom. My house is a reflection of my personality."

Gilbert said she goes through phases with her painting, always trying something different. She tried out a self portrait, favors French Impressionist styles and then just as quickly can veer off into something more modern or convert to realism.

This versatility paired with her distinct personality is what made her so attractive to Sandy Pelletier from the Sorelle Gallery.

"She can paint in any way she wants and that's the sign of a true artist; she can paint in any medium. She paints the mood that she feels. One day she was kind of depressed because it was raining and she was sick of it. I was joking around with her and told her to do something to lift her spirits, so she painted a beautiful painting called the Umbrella Parade," said Pelletier, who said she has shown Gilbert's paintings before and they always do well. In the current show there's about 12 paintings on display and two have already sold.

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