Monday, July 19, 2010

La, la, la, la, life goes on!

My husband is back home from his time to work in Honduras (YEA!), so we are getting back to whatever we consider to be normal around here. This afternoon I will go paint with the Alzheimer's patients. I have been taking a lot of pictures from magazines for them to paint from, and they all always seem to choose the pictures from Birds & Blooms magazine. I think it's because the bird photos are not cluttered, and are large, colorful, and easy to see.

And they have been doing some terrific bird paintings! Last time, one of the ladies chose to paint a tropical bird of some kind, a very gaudy and colorful bird. I told her I too thought it was a beautiful bird, but I had never seen one like it in Colorado. She looked at me like I was an idiot, and said, "Well, it's just an everyday blackbird!" and went on to paint it. No black at all in the bird; that was the one color it didn't have.

But we are getting quite an assortment of bird paintings. So this morning, I have been searching my magazines to find other images that will tempt them, and maybe help to renew a memory or two. I took the above photo to take along, as I think some of them will recall canning fruit, which is a big summer activity here. I am also taking a collection of my seashells.

One of the things that is wonderful about painting with these sweet older people is the stories that come out of them; some true bits of their past and some complete fiction (though they are so true to them, that I do not know it is fiction until a family or staff member tells me.) The paintings they do are joyful and colorful, like paintings children do. They just rediscover the fun of painting for a bit of time. And that is a Good Thing.


Valerie said...

What a wonderful thing to do for those people!

Love the blackbird story. My mom had dementia and would have done something like that.

do you have a dehydrator to dry the apricots. Still the idea of too many apricots is beyond my grasp...I believe you, but it's just beyond my experience.

Though they do say that we are having one of the best fruit growing seasons in Michigan this year.

K Spoering said...

Yes, we have a LARGE dehydrator. We've done two full batches, each taking a half-a-bushel or so to fill. My husband, who hates seeing waste as much or more than I do, may do another batch or two. I may give in and do another batch of jam, as the Methodist women who wanted to take a bunch didn't come and pick them. Our first tree probably still has 4-5 bushels ripe on it, and the second, larger tree is just beginning to ripen. The birds will love us this year, I guess. Wish I could send you some!!!

Tommye McClure Scanlin said...

Your work with the Alzheimer's patients is wonderful. Thank you for doing that. My father-in-law had Alzheimer's and I have much sympathy for families who have a loved one with the condition. Having someone to share a gift like painting with them is a blessing.

Have you considered collaborating with one or more of them to create a tapestry based on their images? A few years ago I wove a tapestry at the request of someone from one of her daughter's kindergarden paintings. It was a joy to do, to try to capture the essence of the freedom of the big sweeps of brush marks.