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By Rita Walker
Assisted Living Director, Ecumen Lakeshore
The room was peaceful and filled with great afternoon sunlight. Four ladies sat together at the table with their painting projects at various stages. Their faces displayed looks of concentration, thoughtful decision making, relaxation and at times frustration. They were lost in their art. For two hours they did not think about their troubles, the pain of arthritis, recent illnesses or other daily struggles. The painters supported each other, laughed with each other, and created beautiful pieces of art together.
Helen Browne was first introduced to painting when she was in elementary school in a small town. The lady that lived in the biggest house in town invited some of the children to learn to paint. So once a week Helen went to the big house and painted.
Dolly Pederson first tried water color painting a few months ago. Although when she was a 10th grade student at Denfeld the art class painted portraits of each other. She recalls “they looked awful, but you could tell who they were supposed to be!”
Muriel Idziorek took water color classes at the Salter Vocational School on London Road in Duluth from VanRyzin. She has painted several pictures herself in the past but then stopped for many years. Having just recently renewed her interest in this past time, today, she decided to paint a butterfly.
They all agreed that they paint for pure enjoyment. “We are not perfect, but we enjoy it,” stated Helen. Maryanne Evensen said with good humor, “I would rather be cleaning this cabin than painting it!” She was a bit frustrated when she first started but then the image started to appear on the paper.
I hated to go back to my desk after spending time with these ladies while they painted. It was both relaxing for me and inspiring.