Thursday, May 24, 2012

Abstract Expressionism project

Last week Judith emailed me images of work by Jean Jacques Duval,
a contemporary stained glass designer and abstract expressionist painter.
We both thought his paintings could be inspiring in some way. 

We brought in various colored pieces of construction paper,
and had them tear random shapes, glue them on the paper,
then outline them with black magic marker.
After a slow start and considerable "prodding",
here are some of the wonderful results.

I am blown away by these. 
There is something so free and expressive about them.
They are starting to let go! 

At one point, the staff gave everyone a small cup of strawberry smoothie.
Bob cleverly used his smoothie as glue!
Hey. It works!   

Friday, May 18, 2012

Yesterday I was a "visiting artist" at the Art Complex Museum in Duxbury.
My friend Sally hosts a dozen Alzheimer patients there every Thursday 
so together we presented the Aboriginal paintings idea to them. 

That's cute Sally n the back ground
These folks have "early stage" and were  
able to draw their own shapes. 

They got a big kick out of this.

A lot of smiles and happy colors going on here. 
The man at the top there never got to the paint.
He just kept drawing the whole time. 

This man gave up on the pen and just used paint. 

I told Bill this looked like an landscape plan.
Lots of trees. 

The act of gathering together around a table to create something,
is so soothing and a wonderful way to communicate. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Making Progress!

I am very excited about our session today.
We showed the patients samples of Aboriginal Art
and talked about the different patterns they use.
We drew some shapes for them to get them started. 
 Right off the bat, Janet got into coloring in my sample.

She then did this all by herself.
(The bottom part is a caterpillar 
and the top part is her hand)  

We showed them samples like these
focussing on the use of circels  and dots! .

Then drew some simple shapes for them to get started. 

Winston quietly worked on this the whole hour. 
(I drew the shapes and put in the red dots for her) 
At one point, she picked up the marker and outlined those new shapes. 
I love the very small circle in the right corner! 

More incredible work:
This was very brave of Edna
and she was very pleased with it.
"Well. Red is my favorite color." 

Barbara loved that Aboriginal Artists use
 lots of circles and dots.
Look at all the colors she used. 
After that, she did this on her own.  
She laughed out loud when I told her it looked like goldfish! 

Peg had no idea what she was doing or why, 
but she loved every minute of painting this! 

Gerty got the whole circle idea and did this 
on her own, chuckling the whole time! 
I gave her a new marker to continue 
but she declined. 
She liked it that way. 

Mary Lou always frets at first.
Then ends up doing amazing things like this. 

Eleanor colored in all the outside shapes I drew for her. 
Except the one she colored in the inside. 

Peggy stayed until the very end to finish this. 

I am thrilled. 
The patients now look forward to coming to this class,
and they are enjoying it on so many levels! 
They feel less threatened by "doing art" 
and are really starting to "let go". 
Moving up to the area where they live
 has made a huge difference. 
It's more intimate and relaxing. 
Within fifteen minutes today, we had twelve patients 
happily painting away.  
That's progress! 

I believe strongly that having them look and think about  
actual art 
helps stimulate them.