Teaching seniors the joy of painting!
If you are looking for a dose of joy and some genuine feel goodness then keep on reading!
As I mentioned in my introduction post, I have recently started teaching Art classes at two of the local Senior Centers here in Tennessee.
When the opportunity first presented itself to me, I was honestly a little nervous. Me? Teach?
First off, I was always the student who spaced off during class and couldn’t really picture myself in the authority role that I was never fond of growing up.
Secondly, I knew that teaching seniors would be a whole different kind of experience and I didn’t really know what to expect.
But I thought, oh what the heck, I’m sure it’ll be a positive experience and if they don’t like me or my tattoos, then at least I tried. Boy am I glad that I took that leap of faith…
At first, I could tell that the residents were very hesitant to try painting.
Some explained to me that they used to be artists and are scared to see what they are or aren’t capable now that their vision isn’t as good and their hands are shaky.
That in itself got to me because it’s just a reality of life that we often forget. There will come a time where we won’t be physically capable of doing things the way we once did. This is just a reminder to soak up life and realize that it’s a short lived luxury to be able to do what you love to your full potential.
Before we started the painting, I made it loud and clear that every artist is different and no two paintings would look the same. Many people were already stressed that their painting wouldn’t look like mine or be “perfect”. Some didn’t even want to start painting because of this. After my little pep talk, they seemed slightly more at ease and everyone decided to give it a go so away we went …
It was time to get my Bob Ross on...
I started painting step by step and would walk around the room in between each color. It was a mix of people not knowing their colors (even testing out the paint thinking it was condiments) all the way to the people who knew what they were doing and got right down to business.
To my surprise, the room quickly filled with laughter and joy!
They were having fun! Whether they were laughing at how silly they thought their painting looked or laughing at the fact they got paint on them, it was such a relief that their insecurities quickly faded. It was then that I thought, “Hey, maybe I’m not so bad at this.” All it took was taking the time to walk around and talk to each person individually to complement their color choices, ability to paint a good circle, certain brush strokes etc… I was able to find something special about every single painting and made sure that I made it clear to them how unique and beautiful each one really was.
Meet Glenda, she told me that she puts on her makeup and puts a flower in her hair specifically for art class!
After the class was done, they were already asking me to come back so needless to say, this is something I am going to continue to do and post about. I
wish I could bring you all to one of the classes to witness first hand but until teleportation is invented (I hear they are close) I will have to use words and photos to try and capture this incredible journey.
Thanks for reading and I hope this brought a little color to your day!