Creative talent blooms in all seasons
When someone puts paint to canvas for the first time, magic happens. Sometimes those first brushstrokes happen well into adulthood. Residents at United Active Living are proof artistic talent can bloom at any age.
“I haven’t been painting long, about two years,” said Fish Creek resident Betty Harman. “I started painting after my husband and I moved to Fish Creek. After he passed away, I immersed myself in the artwork. I’m really enjoying it. You might say it’s my obsession!” she laughs.
One of Betty’s paintings was chosen for this year’s Fish Creek holiday card. “I was thrilled to have one of my pieces used in the card,” said Betty. “I used a photograph from the art studio as inspiration for the painting. It’s a challenge to paint people, but I’m happy with the way it turned out.”
While Betty is fairly new to painting, another resident, Garrison Green’s Hertha Reich, who recently turned 100, has been painting for some 70 years. Her painting of a “Chickadee and Berries” was also chosen.
“I painted the chickadee because I probably saw him sitting in the trees,” said Hertha, when asked about her inspiration for the painting. “We are surrounded by nature, you know. There are all sorts of birds and trees. I love winter. I did the blue stripes in the background to show the cold. The berries might be Saskatoon berries, but they are whatever you want them to be. The world has so many positive things. Birds, berries, you, me!”
Creative expression in all forms is a cornerstone of United’s philosophy. The art studios, staffed by professional artists at each community, encourage residents to express their creative side, even if they’ve never tried a specific method or medium, or even set foot in a studio before. Picking up a paint brush or moulding clay can have substantial health benefits.
Studies suggest a creative arts program can lead older adults to challenge their limits. Such programs also positively impact creative and emotional experiences and enhance a sense of community, well-being and overall quality of life.
Betty is trying a variety of subjects from landscapes to people. “Since I started painting I try something different each time. I’ve been painting my great-grandchildren lately and their parents really like how those are turning out.”
The two cards are being printed and will be distributed to residents during the holiday season.
Photos by United Active Living. Videos by Sherana Productions.
Speak with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange tours of our Garrison Green and Fish Creek communities. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help!