Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"House" as a subject

As the class arrives, it's always a bit hectic and upsetting, 
as most of the patients are confused and agitated at first. 
It still amazes me how quickly they calm down 
the minute they start painting!   

"A house" is such a basic shape, yet it can evoke all kinds of emotions. 
I thought it would be interesting to give the class a simple outline, 
then let them add what they wanted.

Anita added the white curtains and the "candle light" behind them.
And the wreaths! (Even the ones in the bushes.)
I love that she drew in the bricks on the chimney and the front step. 

Check out the mid-century modern front door!

This woman is more highly functioning than the rest of the group.
She added the thatched roofs and stone walls.
She told me she couldn't remember the name of the village 
she visited in Ireland where the houses look like this.  
(As I was leaving, I saw the gal at the front desk googling it for her!) 
I love that! 

We'd talked about all different kinds of houses:
antiques, Capes, contemporary, cottages, cabins,
barns, even birdhouses!  

Joe is in a wheel chair and is barely able to communicate.
He said this was a lot like his cabin.
A real stickler for accuracy, 
he was concerned that the roof was blue. 
I told him it was just reflecting the sky. 

Today I experienced what I guess is the only down side of doing this. 
I was told one of the "sisters" passed away over the weekend.
(click here to see a previous post about them) 

This is the painting she did just last week. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Found a Winner!

I'd been struggling to come up with a project for class today, 
when I got an e-mail from Judy, the wonderful woman who assists me.
She suggested we have the class draw random lines on the paper,
then fill in the resulting shapes with different colors. 
This is the sample she did. 
This project was a real winner! 
Every one could do some version of it
and it allowed them to express something! 
I'm thrilled to show you these results.

This woman always shows up early, all dressed up,
(even color co-ordinated!)
She is so enthusiastic and enjoys every minute.
This project was right up her ally!
(she drew her own lines)
A new student, rather worried at first.
An Aid drew those lines for her, then she did the rest!

Another "newbie" who drew this all on her own!
Then colored it in.
She told me it was a birthday party.  
Ann, in a wheel chair, is a regular and clearly loves coming to this class.
She worked on this the whole hour .
So what that she didn't "follow the rules!"
I love this!
This is from Joe, also in a wheelchair and very impaired.
He worked really hard at this,
 but Bill across the table kept badgering him.
Bill, who refused to do anything,  "used to be an art teacher"
and kept telling him he wasn't "following the rules!"  

As the class was unraveling
 (which happens almost always within one hour)
I saw these two new pieces!
and was stunned!
 The best thing about this project
is how "freeing" it is! 
For everyone!   

*"I keep forgetting how limited we are in this endeavor, 
given the varying degrees of mental and physical 
compromises we are dealing with! 
We're just providing them with a much needed creative outlet. 
A place for them to get "lost" in the "making" of something. 
That's all."
*(My email back to Judith)