As I was setting up for our first art class since the holidays, Phyllis came into the room, saying, “Connie, I want you to see something.” As she got closer, she opened up her walker seat, and pulled out the coloring book I had given her for Christmas. “Look! I’ve been working on these pictures. I just love it. They aren’t very good, but I just love it.” This is the woman who told me back in September that she couldn’t join our class because her eyesight was too poor.
A few minutes later, I saw Loraine coming down the hall, and as she got within earshot, I heard her say, “Connie, have you seen the stuff all over Facebook about us?” Not sure I was understanding who she meant by “us,” I asked her, “Loraine, what do you mean?” “The stuff about us — and this class! It’s all over Facebook.” I laughed, and admitted, “Loraine, I put ‘all that stuff’ out there.” Loraine went on to say her daughter, who lives in another town, had come across this blog and shared it with her. “You called me witty,” she chuckled.
As two o’clock came and went, only 5 ladies joined the class. This surprised me as 3 weeks ago, before Christmas, 14 ladies painted holiday sun catchers in our last session. “Where is everybody?” Once I got the ladies started on the painting, I went to the office and inquired about the residents. Five ladies were in the nursing home wing, recuperating from sickness; one lady was in the hospital; and the rest were exhausted and remained in their rooms. Wow. I’m sure there is a good moral to that story, but hard to sort it out during the holidays. These woman want and need to see extended family, but the variety and abundance of new germs introduced during that season takes a toll on their bodies.
Here are a few pictures from the second sun catcher class. Earlier in the year, we had done Autumn sun catchers with mixed reviews from the residents. After that class, I returned all the Christmas sun catchers that I had planned to use for this class because the ladies seemed less than pleased. However, the next week, they came in exclaiming how they loved the sun catchers in their windows.
I reordered all the Christmas supplies.
There is a learning curve here for all of us.
I wrote about Jeannette in a previous post, (you can read about it here,) and her dislike of painting sun catchers. She had not joined us since that class, but guess what? Yep, this is the day she decided to give it another try. Oops. I promised her that the next time she came, we would not be painting sun catchers.
Here are a few of the pictures of the Christmas picture they painted during our last session in December.
And that right there is why I do this class. To see and hear their excitement is inspirational, and encourages me so much. These women bless my life.
I have three more sessions of pictures — and stories — to share with you from our January classes, but I’ll wait until my next post. I hope you enjoy looking at these beautiful faces. I look forward to seeing them for art class — they have become one of the highlights of my week!
Sometimes I draw the picture that we paint, and other times I search for just the right design. Thank you to Fourth Ave Pen And Ink, a delightful store on Etsy, for today’s lovely NOEL design.
4 thoughts on “Assisted Living Residents Paint My Life With Joy”
I love this blog. You are such a blessing to these people, Connie. Do you draw the pictures they paint or are they from a book? I love the Noel pic. It’s what I would call “Happy Art.”
Thank you Betsy! The art I use in class is a combination of my artwork and others. Some weeks, I do draw the picture, but I actually purchased the NOEL design and then traced it onto canvas board for the ladies. I try to provide pictures that are simple enough for these residents yet not juvenile and childish. The popular adult coloring books are often too detailed and small for the ladies to enjoy.
Oh Connie! These are all beautiful…..every single one of them!! Thank you for doing this for them!!!
Thanks Carolyn — I have so much fun with them. I’m thankful this has worked out for all of us.