Once in a Blue Moon: An Artist's Life

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Coteau Books, 2006 - Biography & Autobiography - 259 pages
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Marie Elyse St. George uses the anecdotes of her family's history as well as her own reminiscences, dreams, poems, and paintings, to tell the story of her life as an artist. With an artist's eye for detail and a poet's gift with words, Marie Elyse St. George sets about documenting the details of her 76 years on the planet. Beginning with an explanation of her Huguenot ancestry and her family's arrival in Canada, she takes us through her first school days, her family's move to an Ontario mixed farm, her escape to England to take arts training, her time working in radio and television, her settling with her family in Saskatoon, and her work with first the visual arts and then the writing communities of her city. The book begins with Marie Elyse's poem, "Blue Moon" and a description of her calamitous birth. Her twin brother was dead at birth, and the doctor and nurses in attendance were convinced that she and her mother would not survive either. Her father claimed that a vision of his own mother assured him things would be all right. Her mother, meanwhile, had a vision of her own -- of the fate of her other children and the objectionable woman her husband might well wind up with should she die. This was what inspired her revival. Although not as eventful as this beginning, Marie Elyse's life is anything but placid as she grows, leaves home, and starts a career and a family of her own. Further poems, visions, and anecdotes, as well as family photographs and her own illustrations and paintings, drive the narrative of this ordinarily remarkable life.

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