Wednesday, May 23, 2012

4th Session

I had a great time with Dennis today. It is primarily the left side of his brain that took the most damage from the stroke, so we can still have a fine conversation. His speech has greatly improved. Today the rap was all about Art as an object/product vs. Art as a representation for a conceptual idea...with some of his interesting anecdotes from  his days being around Andy Warhol and working with Tinkerbell.
I brought my Hundertwasser book with me, so I could show Dennis a higher expression of the very simple graphic drills that we are doing.
It has been a regular effort to keep that left hand involved and you can see it is off the table right now. Today I am understanding with much more clarity that Dennis is NOT seeing very much of the left side, and it is not about actual vision, but perception. Can you see that he did not draw the circles on his left side of the paper?

I have mentioned it in the past, but these graphic drills are something I have been developing from my study of "A Method for Creative Design" by Adolfo Best-Maugard

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Some Art Therapy for D

Today is the second art therapy session with my friend Dennis W.
Ten months ago he suffered a series of strokes (59 yrs old). He is now in a wheelchair, in a rehab center, but alive and with ever increasing possibilities for a recovery.

Dennis is an author, and a screenwriter of significant note, and now, like a lightning strike, he is NOT! On my first visit some months ago, when we atleast knew he was not going to die, I asked him, "What do you need?" and he knew I was talking to the creative person, now locked inside his own body. His halting response was "repetition".

I am an artist, not an art therapist. I do have some teaching experience and I have been a qualified martial arts instructor. What could be more repetitious than the punching and kicking and endless practice of Katas.
So now I knew how to structure the time; 20 minutes "Basics", 20 minutes "Lesson" 20 minutes "free sparring" (free drawing)
The first lesson was more of an assessment session and I was encouraged that Dennis could "draw a straight line", LOL. So we drew a whole page of them.
Today the same and then adding circles and squares; Pick-up a marker, take off the top, draw the line, put down the marker and pick a new color, etc. etc. etc.
I do hope that I can keep Dennis interested enough, as we need to add the left hand to the process. His left hand is only about 60% useful right now
I am pleased that today, he was able maintain his interest and concentration long enough for me the make this sketch of him.
In a few weeks I will post some of his progress.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Crows; Closer & Closer

My local crows have been communicating! I wish I had a clue about what! They are not scolding or dive bombing. Likely it has something to do with my feeding them the mice I trap in the basement.
I live in a farm house and mice are just part of it. When we bought the house the previous owners had been away for months prior to the sale and the mice had real taken over. Even after I got that under control, and also got the Red Squirrel out (cute but nasty critter). A mouse or two is just country life, so I put down some traps, but thought I would start to put the catch outside and always in the same spot, on a big rock, when I do this I do not see any crows, but obviously they see me. Sometimes I see them come down and take it. I only catch one mouse a week, maybe two.
Over the past two years I have noticed a change in the crows behavior.
Last summer two adults would bring a young crow (nearly a full size crow) to the yard and feed and talk and I guess, "play"!   
The crows no longer fly away when I come out and often hang out in one of two trees and watch me.
This week they are calling to me, directly. Interesting