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"You get what you give!"

For 22 years, painter Marieluise Hutchinson has utilized her artistic talent to benefit local non-profits

Artwork by Marieluise Hutchinson

Artwork by Marieluise Hutchinson

Marieluise Hutchinson travels old New England roads searching for perfect scenes to paint. She is drawn to landscapes and rural architectural scenes, whether a Cape Cod barn or a rural farmhouse in Maine. She photographs a variety of potential scenes; then, when she returns to her studio—whether in Yarmouthport or Cushing, Maine—she selects an image for inspiration, turns on some classical music, and gets to work.

Hutchinson’s paintings evoke the imagery of a Robert Frost poem: a contemplative walk in the woods, a bucolic retreat, nostalgia. Looking at the artist’s work as a whole, another trend becomes apparent: charity, philanthropy, and warmth. Since 1993, Hutchinson has been doing something extraordinary with her artistic talent. Through sales of Christmas cards made from her paintings, she has helped raise more than $200,000 for local organizations she cares about.

“I am very proud to have been able to do this for my community,” Hutchinson says with a smile. “To see it grow and be accepted for 22 years is an honor. I try to live by the saying: ‘You get what you give, so give good’.”

In a recent interview, Hutchinson, 68, discussed her annual Christmas card project and what it takes to complete it each year. She also talked about her work as an artist, her inspirations, and how “the project” came about.

A native of Hanover, Hutchinson grew up in an 1820s-era farmhouse, similar to the ones she now paints. She enjoyed drawing as a child and credits the art teacher she had in grade school, Mr. Percy Van Dyke, for inspiring her to explore her love of art. Following a move to Cape Cod in the 1970s, Hutchinson began to dabble in artwork once again, painting when her young children, Bethany and Kristen, were asleep. She refined her style and technique and exhibited her first gallery show at the now defunct Cummaquid Fine Arts. Soon thereafter, she began selling some artwork to Marian Heath Greeting Cards in Wareham. Now known as Viabella, the company still prints Hutchinson’s cards today.

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