“Painting gives me a sense of freedom, relaxation, and accomplishment, painting is the art of seeing and a life-long process of learning…the excitement comes from the media revealing something new to me each time I paint.”
I paint landscapes and flowers and, too often, find myself with an inner need to make the scene too magical using the power of my imagination. I try to capture and enhance the beauty of nature. I use vibrant colors to show joy, dark colors if I’m moody…and I blend the colors to capture the total effect.
Art helps me to realize that I need to choose what to see along the path of life. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. It changes my perspective and makes me realize that my burdens are not so great in the overall scheme of things.
Teaching watercolor classes to the residents of the Regency at South Shore gave me a great sense of helping older, lonely and sick people to forget their problems and aches and pains and give them a sense of accomplishment. When, at the end of the first class, I said to the group, “Ok, let me have a show of hands for those of you who thought about or felt any of your aches, pains, or mental stress during this class.” Not one hand was raised. There was laughter and chuckling in the room. They all forgot their troubles while concentrating on their painting.
Teaching watercolor classes at the Oncology Wellness Institute (now known as the Yolanda G. Barco Oncology Institute) in Meadville, was a unique experience for me. Most of the participants had never painted before. I tried to impress on them that the purpose of the class was to learn and try something new, to have fun, and to forget perfection. They put their emotions on paper, choosing and blending colors to express their pain, anger, fear, sadness and hope. Some of their paintings were beautiful and psychologically haunting. They expressed bottled up emotions which they could not express in words. The class gave them some joy and enhanced the quality of life that was left, if even for a few hours of their day. They amazed and inspired me with the acceptance of the journey they were destined to make.
Painting fulfills my emotional, social and spiritual needs. I can express my individual, inner world by choosing subjects, composition, and colors to express what and how I feel on any particular day or about life in general.