Volunteering in a Memory Support Unit is very rewarding and lots of fun. When beginning a painting residents choose the imagery, colours and patterns they want to use. I work in partnership with the residents and care staff to complete the painting. We used acrylics, ink and paint pens to complete this painting.
I volunteer in a Memory Support Unit, which is a residence for people living with dementia and/or cognitive impairment. I spend some time each week doing art projects with the residents and care staff. This canvas we completed recently and is now hanging in the lounge area.
For the background I finger painted tints of blue (a tint is made by adding white to a colour). Then using the same blues I stencilled over the background.
Next I used a uniball signo black gel pen and drew a couple of funky daisies.
I painted the petals white and doodled the line detail with the gel pen.
Finally using a very fine brush I added some orange detail to the petals for contrast.
I started the page with Dylusions paints, the new pastel range.
Next I did lots of stencilling using Dylusions paints.
I planned where the leaf/flower shapes would go, Painting an isolation layer of white.
The shapes are painted in shades of red and lots of doodling added with Posca paint pens and Uniball Signo gel pen.
I was feeling joyous on a lovely clear, almost warm spring day, so in my art journal I fingerpainted some lovely pastel shades. Then I outlined some funky flowers using a paint pen.
Next I stamped some floral shapes all over and painted out the background using white paint. I decided to start doodling leaf shapes and buds on the flowers.
Here is the finished page-lots of doodling later.
for the last few months I have been volunteering as the 'pottery lady' at Goodwin retirement village in Monash. I do social visits and teach up to 3 pottery sessions for residents, including those with dementia and other needs. They are a gorgeous group of people, always up for a chat, singalong and playing with clay.
The residents have been working with pinch, coil and slab methods of hand building using air dry clay. When the pieces are dry they are painted with acrylic paints. I find this time with the residents very special and it's wonderful to see their imagination and creativity blossom.
While I am enjoying the process of painting I still feel lost, not really connecting with it yet, so I do some radical changes.
I apply a wash of gesso and return to mark making and colour using the luscious Golden High Flow acrylics, they are a joy to use. The painting is starting to feel more familiar and energetic.
At this stage I've defined native seeds, pods and leaves and am feeling more hopeful about its progress. Stay tuned for next instalment
This painting has had many layers. Depending on how confident I feel, certain layers stay, well they last till the next day when insecurity takes over and angst and frustration...
This is fairly typical of my progress with paintings, I think it's the investment in something big, doubts about being good enough...
I love art journaling and teaching others to paint, but I wonder can self belief be taught? Where does it come from? Where does it go? Working intuitively is hard, as there is no predetermined end. By completing many processes and layers the painting reveals itself.
I love being an artist, and I love learning and experimentation. And I love it when it all comes together finally. And if it doesn't, well I just start another layer 😁
Stay tuned for the next reveal.
First layer, gesso over previously painted layers, art foamy stamping and orange painted and drawn in patterns.
Next, painted layers in a range of blues, greens and more orange.
Another painted layer using white, blue, green and light blue violet. Some paint layer removed through stencils and a baby wipe.
Final layer, drawn details in black and white Posca Paint pens. Finished painting is 51x76cm.
I am an artist and teacher and I love to share what I know and what I learn. I was previously a high school art teacher, now I enjoy art journaling, mixed media, pottery, painting and teaching adults from my home studio.