WHERE HAVE THE DAYS AND WEEKS GONE?
The third month of the new year of 2019 is coming up soon and here I am posting again, this time collecting my thoughts about blogging, doing art, and reviewing some of the priorities in my retired life.
ART WITH ALOHA. I’ve decided to not abandon my blog site even though I am not able to post as often as I would like to; you’ll soon learn the reason why. So since I did intend for it to be a journal about my art experiences and my life I will attempt to play catch up.
MY FAMILY– Exciting things are happening this year with another granddaughter getting married as soon as she graduates from college in Washington state (last summer one granddaughter got married). I will be attending her graduation in May in Spokane and then she’s coming home to Honolulu for her wedding. In total, five grandchildren are either graduating from college or preparing to leave Hawaii for college in the continental U.S. There will be one lone grandson still in high school, but soon he will go away to college, too! Great changes are coming to our family! This is one of my favorite photos taken a few years ago and NOW the youngest grandson towers over me!
BUSY SCHEDULE– I exercise at the YMCA 5 x’s a week on the treadmill and weight machines, as well as water exercise. I assist with our church ukulele group and volunteer with an art group on Fridays. I have ongoing Bible studies with my son and husband 2-3x’s a week as preparation for Bible study groups, teaching and preaching at our church and 2 other Filipino churches. There is music practice 3x’s a week minimum for classical piano.
For art, I check in on art forums Paint Basket, Easel Insight and Virtual Art Academy weekly; maintain my Bible blogsite ‘God’s Enduring Love’ http://heulu.wordpress.com and my art blogsite https://artwithaloha.wordpress.com. These are most of my regular activities. I am second from left in front row playing ukulele at the First Chinese Church in Honolulu. We also play at retirement and nursing homes.
UPCOMING ACTIVITIES. I continue to serve in the judge pool for high school speech and debate teams during the school year. In addition I will again be one of the judges for the American Legion Annual High School Oratorical Contest which is coincidental with the President’s Day national holiday week. We are members of an American Legion Honolulu chapter and it will be our 4th year assisting with the event (my husband was a USAF major). The winner gets $1500 and an expense paid trip to Indianapolis, IN with chaperone. The students speak on Constitutional rights and freedoms of American citizens.
NOW ABOUT ART– Painting at the easel is no more than 2-3 x’s a week; some days while waiting for the paint to dry to touch, I visit my favorite online artists: Samuel Earp, JM Lisondra, Dan Scott, Paul Taggart, and Laura-Art Tutor. Besides the art tips and techniques I pick up from them, I have long time friends on the paintbasket.com forum where I’ve taken classes/courses from Dennis and Nolan Clark since 2011. I recently finished the portrait painting course where I practiced on notable figures Presidents Trump and Washington, just in time for the President’s Day. Their portraits will be displayed at the oratorical contest mentioned above.
Restoring an old oil painting. A seascape I painted 50 years ago is in the process of a makeover with fresh paint. It had been in storage for a while and I didn’t want to toss it. It sits on my easel waiting for me to freshen it up.
VOLUNTEER WORK. Since a few months ago I have spent 3 hours every Friday afternoon volunteering with an outpatient art group at a rehabilitation center. A friend from my ukulele group who was a recovering patient told me about how over the past few years she had benefited from this program. After visiting and watching her do her art, I saw that I could be of some help to the art leader with his group that averaged a dozen or more outpatients each afternoon.
Since they have varying degrees of disabilities the leader and I assist the members with setting up their easels, preparing palettes and getting their supplies and provide whatever they need to have to do their oil and acrylic paintings. The art leader encourages work on large canvases with a primary palette of white, red, yellow, and blue. This means that all members will eventually learn to mix secondary and other colors. They sometimes will ask advice or questions relating to their art work and this is where we can draw upon our art background and experience to make suggestions and provide guidance as it is needed.
I love the approach of no direct instruction, but instead to allow maximum freedom for the members to explore paint medium and learn art by engaging themselves in the process of art making. Creative expression is the focus of this therapy group- choose what you want to paint whether from your imagination or a picture that you like; let your art work express your feelings about life and living; most of all, paint for yourself. Many members paint large, with bold and colorful shapes. There is a whole gamut of paint subjects from fantasy, still life, florals, seascapes and landscapes, pet portraits, abstract, etc. in a variety of brush work as one can imagine which reflect expressionism, impressionism, super realism and anything between. It is very challenging as well as gratifying to be part of the camaraderie at the rehab center every Friday afternoon. It is a place of therapy for them and for me.
From the Cambridge English Dictionary: ‘Therapy is a treatment that helps someone feel better, grow stronger, etc., especially after an illness, from the effects of a disease or injury’.