Monday, February 18, 2013

Circle Art and Abstract Painting

Sophia, Olivia, and I have begun volunteering this year at a care center near our home. It's a new one that opened within the past couple of years, and has a wonderful set-up: all the rooms are private ones with the exception of four corner ones where couples are able to live together.

So, the facility is much smaller than other ones, with the nursing home part having about 40 residents and the assisted living part having about 20 residents.

Last week, we lead a pie-making and hot chocolate social which was well-received by the seniors. (About 35% of the residents participated in it.)

This week, we did a painting session. About 20% of the residents showed up. We did two different projects which I found on Pinterest. The pin for Easy Abstract Painting led to Craft Pond.


We did a sample ahead of time to show the seniors. Olivia chose several colors of paint - red, yellow, blue, purple, and white. We squeezed the acrylic paint tubes and various sizes of paint blobs went onto the canvas.

Canvas with paint blobs on it.

Then Olivia took her brush and gently blended the paint together. At times, when the brush had a lot of different colors of paint on it, she would wipe it off on a paper towel.

Olivia blending the paint.

When she was done, she had a canvas filled with abstract shapes and blends of colors. She likes it on its own. It could also be used as a background for a collaged-mixed media piece.

Olivia's final painting.

When we were working with the seniors, we had them choose two colors plus white. Some of the seniors needed more encouragement and direction, depending on their skill level.

This 98-year old senior mixed red, yellow, and white together.
She is receiving help from another a resident at the nursing home.

 For the abstract painting, most of the seniors didn't need assistance once they started blending the colors.

Sophia helping the seniors with painting.

They seemed interested and engaged in seeing how the colors blended together.

Focusing on blending the paint together.

The resulting paintings were beautiful.

The finished abstract painting done by one of residents
at the nursing home.

Some of the seniors painted objects instead of simply blending the colors together.

Concentrating on blending the colors.

The result was a different type of painting than we envisioned, but one that was equally as rewarding for the senior to create.

A painting done by one of the seniors.

There was one senior who chose to dab the paintbrush into the paint blobs and create lots of different random spots on the page.
One of the paintings done by the seniors.

It was interesting to see the variety of work that is created by giving people the same materials - acrylic paint, a canvas, and a paintbrush - and see the creativity they showed through art.


The pin for Circle Art led to Skip to My Lou.  To do the circle art project, the first step is to put some acrylic paint on a plate. Dip a plastic lid or container into the paint and apply to the paper.

One of the seniors dipping a lid into the paint and
applying it to his paper.

Fill the page with various circles overlapping one another.

Sophia's example.

Let the paint dry and then decide if you want to fill in the circles with oil or chalk pastels...

My example.

or with various doodles.

Olivia's example.

When we were working with the seniors, we provided a sheet with various doodle ideas.

The idea sheet we showed the seniors.

This was a challenging project for about half of the seniors. They needed help with dipping the container into the paint and then placing it randomly on the pages. The other half was able to do this step without assistance.

Some of the seniors chose to color in some of the circles, while others patiently filled in the circles with a variety of shapes.

One gentleman filled in each space with a variety of designs.

1 comment:

Casey said...

What neat painting projects! These would be fun to do with my kids and it's lovely that you brought some color and fun into the seniors' day.