ALREADY SIGNED UP?
BUILD YOUR WEBSITE

 

Notice Board

SUBMIT View

Current notices

There are no notices at this time.

Today's notices

  • Call for Art – 12th Annual “Seascapes” Online Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
    View notice

  • 8th Annual Leaves & Petals Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 8th Annual Leaves & Petals art competition..
    View notice

  • Art Show:

    Location: Truro, NS

    Visual Voice Fine Art presents 'SUMMER' June 20- July 16, 2022. Open Monday, Wednesday,..
    View notice

  • Art instructors needed in Calgary

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Calling for Calgary based artists. Become our hosting artists to gain exposure, income..
    View notice

  • Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition consists of works from internationally..
    View notice

  • Old & New: A Solo Exhibit by Robert Crosby

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The paintings of Robert Crosby will be on display in the Joyner Gallery..
    View notice

  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Asian Roots Trio”, a..
    View notice

  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Meditation”, a solo show..
    View notice

  • Gallery Ring ARTISTS OF THE MONTH Contest

    Location: , ON

    Gallery Ring announces the ARTISTS OF THE MONTH contest. A RUBY, SAPPHIRE, EMERALD..
    View notice

  • “Summer” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline August 31, 2022

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Summer of the soul, summer thunder, summer wine, summer fling, summer..
    View notice

  • John Lennard - Exhibition opening June 17, 2022

    Location: Haliburton, ON

    John Lennard is known for his vivid landscape paintings. A serene summer sunset,..
    View notice

  • Exhibition: Common Ground

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    In this exhibition, Sara-Jeanne Bourget, Robin Gleason and Mark Johnsen explore the layers..
    View notice

  • New Edition – online art exhibition

    Location: Brooklyn, NY

    Applications are now open for our online exhibition “New Edition”- an investigation into..
    View notice

  • Beacon Original Art Call for Submissions

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramic, glass, jewelry and textile artists are encouraged to APPLY..
    View notice

  • Landscape Reflections: Solo Exhibit by Marilyn Cochrane

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The Niagara-on-the-Lake artist, Marilyn Cochrane, celebrates the natural world in a more encompassing..
    View notice

  • Repair Landmark

    Location: Fredericton, NB

    Hello, Looking for a skilled artisan able to repair our farming community's landmark. ..
    View notice

  • Call for artworks: Canada-China-Australia exchange

    Location: ,

    Led by Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Sino-Canada Alliance..
    View notice

  • STILL WITH US: Floyd Kuptana at Gallery Arcturus

    Location: Toronto, ON

    STILL WITH US: Celebrating the artist Floyd Kuptana, 1964 -2021. Works in stone, paint,..
    View notice

  • Looking for hosting artists, Calgary based

    Location: Calgary, AB

    If you are a Calgary-based artist who is interested to gain exposure to..
    View notice

  • Commonwealth Artists' Prize

    Location: ,

    In Brief We are calling for entries from artists who are: 1) A..
    View notice

  • Check Jooble for Art related Jobs

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Looking for a job in the ARTS in Canada? We have thousands of..
    View notice

Art Therapy

By Robert Amos March 29, 2004

} Art Therapy By Robert Amos My neighbour works at a care home, a long term care residence for seniors and others. He asked if I would consider meeting with some of the residents to do some painting. As I walked there on that first day, I really wondered what I could teach them. What were they capable of learning, and why would they want to learn? About eight people, all in wheelchairs, were waiting at a long table in the activity room when I arrived. That first day I suggested painting a planter of petunias which was visible just outside the window. I demonstrated as well as I could with what was on hand, a few chalky pots of paint and a stiff brush. And then I let them go at it. It looked as if it was going to be an uphill struggle. Simple practical issues had to be considered. It’s hard to bend over a table when sitting in a bulky motorized wheelchair. No one much liked looking into the bright daylight outside the window. Old eyes couldn’t see those distant flowers as easily as mine could. Still, everyone set to the task. In the end two or three had made pictures of the petunias - more by copying my painting than looking at the flowers themselves. Some of the painters could hardly hit the page with the brush. But the experience was positive enough to draw me back a week later. One of the women, constantly attended, had spent almost two hours, and she had made one short vertical mark on her page. Later I asked my neighbour whether it seemed worthwhile for her to be there. “A breakthrough,” he called it. “There’s a very intelligent woman in there, trapped in a cage of pain,” he informed me. Victim of a head injury, she had found this tiny opening of self-expression, an opening he hoped she would build on. “Seigfried” by E. K. Another of the regulars had a reputation as a painter, and proudly carried photos of the watercolours she had made years before. I couldn’t see the resemblance in the network of coloured hatching she cast out during our afternoons. And I wondered what use I was, since she never attempted the subjects I set for our group. But her absorption in her task was intense, and her identity as an artist was surely an anchor of confidence in a life which was changing on her every day. As months went by I began to recognize that what appeared at first to be random and disconnected lines were in fact a style - her style. One of the oldest men pointed out that he’d never painted. He sat where he was put and bent his head over his task. No well-meaning advice broke in on his labour and, in the end, a staff member asked what he had painted. “It’s a cat! And kittens!”, he snorted. And sure enough, it was. On my way out that day, that staff member couldn’t hold back her surprise. “He’s never spent 10 minutes at any activity here. He just won’t put up with it. And yet he just spent almost two hours painting.” Artists know how deeply satisfying it is to get lost in the task. Time vanishes. My neighbour went further. “Many of these people,” he told me, “have short term memory problems. The last time they painted might have been when they were in kindergarten. They can remember things that happened back then, and they still know how to do them. It makes them feel in control.” Actually, there was more control than I at first recognized. One man, about my age, had real problems - his muscles were rendered graceless and his speech was almost unintelligible. But he was patient with me, and slowly our communication became more satisfactory. I learned to put the paints more comfortably within his reach and to allow him to spend longer letting his ideas develop. The results are there for all to see - there is a good mind and heart just waiting to express itself. I tend to forget that these people are disabled. I guess they can’t walk, and may have medical problems that I know nothing about. But, by now, getting together with my group every week is more like a family gathering than almost anything else in my life. We’ve decided to frame some pictures for the halls, and with this goal in sight the paintings are becoming more considered and more finished. Inevitably, each artist is caught behind a heap of genuine humility. But the reaction of visitors is always sincere and positive - they are genuinely impressed. After all, art is more about communication than technique, and all forms of self-expression are acceptable. And any subject is welcome. I am most gratified when my band of associates reach into memory and draw forth scenes from childhood, and moments of joy from their own lives. More in the style of Grandma Moses than photo-realism, their paintings are evidence of the common humanity which we all share. Maybe those who have known a bit of suffering can feel that, and share it, most vividly. ___________________________________________ Copyright © 2004 Robert Amos Robert Amos is an artist and art writer who lives in Victoria, B. C.. He can be contacted by e-mail and you can view his paintings at www.robertamos.com

Notice Board

SUBMIT View

Current notices

There are no notices at this time.

Today's notices

  • Call for Art – 12th Annual “Seascapes” Online Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announces an art call for the..
    View notice

  • 8th Annual Leaves & Petals Art Competition

    Location: Santa Fe, NM

    Fusion Art invites submissions for the 8th Annual Leaves & Petals art competition..
    View notice

  • Art Show:

    Location: Truro, NS

    Visual Voice Fine Art presents 'SUMMER' June 20- July 16, 2022. Open Monday, Wednesday,..
    View notice

  • Art instructors needed in Calgary

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Calling for Calgary based artists. Become our hosting artists to gain exposure, income..
    View notice

  • Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition

    Location: Toronto, ON

    The Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition consists of works from internationally..
    View notice

  • Old & New: A Solo Exhibit by Robert Crosby

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The paintings of Robert Crosby will be on display in the Joyner Gallery..
    View notice

  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Asian Roots Trio”, a..
    View notice

  • ASA Presents

    Location: Calgary, AB

    The Alberta Society of Artists is proud to present “Meditation”, a solo show..
    View notice

  • Gallery Ring ARTISTS OF THE MONTH Contest

    Location: , ON

    Gallery Ring announces the ARTISTS OF THE MONTH contest. A RUBY, SAPPHIRE, EMERALD..
    View notice

  • “Summer” International Call - Art & Literature Journal - Deadline August 31, 2022

    Location: Toronto, ON

    | Theme: Summer of the soul, summer thunder, summer wine, summer fling, summer..
    View notice

  • John Lennard - Exhibition opening June 17, 2022

    Location: Haliburton, ON

    John Lennard is known for his vivid landscape paintings. A serene summer sunset,..
    View notice

  • Exhibition: Common Ground

    Location: North Vancouver, BC

    In this exhibition, Sara-Jeanne Bourget, Robin Gleason and Mark Johnsen explore the layers..
    View notice

  • New Edition – online art exhibition

    Location: Brooklyn, NY

    Applications are now open for our online exhibition “New Edition”- an investigation into..
    View notice

  • Beacon Original Art Call for Submissions

    Location: Calgary, AB

    Painters, sculptors, photographers, ceramic, glass, jewelry and textile artists are encouraged to APPLY..
    View notice

  • Landscape Reflections: Solo Exhibit by Marilyn Cochrane

    Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

    The Niagara-on-the-Lake artist, Marilyn Cochrane, celebrates the natural world in a more encompassing..
    View notice

  • Repair Landmark

    Location: Fredericton, NB

    Hello, Looking for a skilled artisan able to repair our farming community's landmark. ..
    View notice

  • Call for artworks: Canada-China-Australia exchange

    Location: ,

    Led by Luxun Academy of Fine Arts in collaboration with the Sino-Canada Alliance..
    View notice

  • STILL WITH US: Floyd Kuptana at Gallery Arcturus

    Location: Toronto, ON

    STILL WITH US: Celebrating the artist Floyd Kuptana, 1964 -2021. Works in stone, paint,..
    View notice

  • Looking for hosting artists, Calgary based

    Location: Calgary, AB

    If you are a Calgary-based artist who is interested to gain exposure to..
    View notice

  • Commonwealth Artists' Prize

    Location: ,

    In Brief We are calling for entries from artists who are: 1) A..
    View notice

  • Check Jooble for Art related Jobs

    Location: Ottawa, ON

    Looking for a job in the ARTS in Canada? We have thousands of..
    View notice

ALREADY SIGNED UP?
BUILD YOUR WEBSITE