Some people say it with a card, Maxim Nitschke says it with art.
Dr. Cindy Hutnik, ophthalmologist in St. Joseph’s Ivey Eye Institute, received two striking pieces from Maxim in appreciation for her clinical care.
Maxim, whose vision has improved after cataract surgery, recollects the work put into the pieces. “Lithographs are challenging. There are endless drawings until you are happy with the image - and it really speaks back. When you reach the joyful goal of what was envisioned, it gets chiseled into wood and that carving is the plate that provides the image. With special ink and rollers it becomes a stamp in essence. It is most definitely a labour of love.”
Maxim, once a VP of finance for a large corporation, turned to art for its intellectual stimulation after retiring 20 years ago. “I asked myself what I was going to do, and I was always fascinated by art history and art books.” Maxim, was celebrated in his craft by being featured at an art show in Windsor. His wife, Helen, who bought him his first set of carving tools, smiled and whispered to her daughter at the time, “I didn’t realize he was that good.”
The pieces are strong in their religious imagery and Maxim can still recall the crucifix that inspired one of the pieces from when he was an altar-server in Germany. The second piece, reads “Dominus Illumination Mea et Salus Mea,” translated – the Lord is my light and my salvation.
Donated to Dr. Hutnik, in the spirit in which they were crafted - with admiration, respect and appreciation - Maxim’s pieces were received by St. Joseph’s Hospital in 2016.