To Serve You Best
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Notes Along the Way
and Fitness Can Improve Your Brain
Over the years, I have taught art to students at every age
level from pre-school to older adults. I love witnessing their creativity and
excitement over their accomplishments. I especially like seeing the joy that
art brings into their lives.
For older people, creativity provides a goal, a reason to get up in the morning
and go out to an art class or head to an easel or art wall inside their own
homes. The creative activity can take the form of painting, sculpture, pottery,
jewelry and more. Crocheting and knitting are art-crafting endeavors enjoyed by
people of all ages, especially older ones. Some studies show that crafting
provides a large benefit but not quite as much as painting.
My mother loved to crochet. She would sit for hours crocheting colorful pieces
that she later put together in afghans to give as gifts. Although she did not
grow up in a time when physical fitness was stressed as it now is, she kept her
brain healthy with the bright strands of yarn dancing on her needle.
A recent article by Leslie Mann, Tribune Newspapers, describes studies that
show the value of doing artwork for people in "their middle and old
ages". One Mayo Clinic study found that those who created art during those
later years were "73 percent less likely to develop MCI (Mild Cognitive
Impairment)". (MCI is a problem that can lead to dementia.)
Because people are living longer, the 85-plus age is a fast-growing population
segment. It's a group of people who can be inspired because of creative
potential or they can be led into depression by those who do not understand
their needs for purpose in life.
workshop, GAMi in March
people are encouraged to take more art classes and more art workshops, I
believe they will be happier. They will have less reason for depression. They
will need fewer drugs.
My Upcoming Artist
Georgia O'Keeffe – October 10, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. –
Williamsburg Center for Contemporary Art, 219 North Boundary Street - Williamsburg, VA –
Texture and Design" – October 29 and 30 – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
– Mathews Bay School Community Arts Center - 279 Main St, Mathews,
VA 23109 (804) 725-1278
Notes Along the Way
Ward Center for
Open House, Friday
August 14, 6 to 9 p.m.
Paradise" exhibition by Mary Montague Sikes
seascapes in this show were created from photographs taken by the artist as a
hurricane approached a beach in the Bahamas. Other works developed from
pictures captured in Jamaica, Antigua, Trinidad, Barbados, and Hawaii.
"Dunn's River Falls" features the water cascading over falls rocks
during visits to Jamaica. An earlier painting created of the falls became part
of a collection of art purchased by the Marriott Hotel in downtown Richmond
when it first opened. Waterfalls in Kauai are the subject of a smaller painting
in the show.
with me at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about upcoming workshops I'm teaching in September. I have a
three-day workshop, "Painting Like Georgia", at the Art Academy of
Hilton Head Island SC. I also have a three-day workshop, "Painting with
Texture and Design", in Hilton Head.
Farrah's Art Show at Arts Alive in West Point
Farrah Ferand, the
heroine of my new novel, Evening of the Dragonfly, has come
alive in an unusual way. The book character has a series of original paintings
in an invitational art exhibition at Arts Alive, opening on September 15.
Among the works is a
painting called "Moonshine" relating to tales her mother and her
grandfather told Farrah about relatives making and selling moonshine in the
back woods of western Virginia. Several paintings in the show evolved from
Farrah's dreams that are featured in the novel. "Farrah's Dream" is a
painting about one of those dreams.
When Farrah sees a
dragonfly or groups of them, she feels optimism. Although the pretty flying
insects seem connected to the death of her grandfather and then the death of
her mother, she believes sighting the dragonflies is like seeing the spirits of
her departed loved ones. These symbols are depicted in the painting,
The opening reception
will be Saturday, Sept. 19, 6 to 7 p.m. at the W.T. Robinson/Sture G. Olsson Civic Auditorium and Fine Arts Center in West Point.