Art Therapy For Parkinson's

I take an art class a few times each month. We work on everything from masks for Halloween to making Christmas decorations.

I come from a fairly artistic family. My mother painted. My sister used to do these things with dots that was pretty cool. My sister in law is an artist. My oldest daughter has designed covers for a couple of CDs. My art skills ZERO!!

The reason I take this class is because it’s fun and it’s relaxing.

Last week we started working with water colors. I always loved those. Most of my early works had numbers.

I arrived at class about 15 minutes late so I had to work fast. I found this drawing in a book and decided to copy it. manga dude I was going for the guy with the white hair. He looks like Will Lee from the David Letterman Show band.

My first thought was to draw him in pencil. Here is problem #1. One of my Parkinson’s symptoms is my writing. It’s small and basically unreadable. How does that translate to drawing? Beats me! But here’s what happened.

When the pencil hit the paper, my hand froze. I couldn’t move it in any direction to get started. This has happened before. I just added my left hand as a guide and started to draw two-handed. Pretty clever.

After a bit I was able to draw with my right hand. I drew a reasonable picture of this guy…well sorta.

Now here is where it gets interesting. I gave him black hair instead of white. No glasses. Blue eyes were just a dot with blue paint.His shirt was white because the paper was white. There was flesh tone paint for the skin. The collar stayed purple and the tie stayed black. The jacket is a mixture of colors. This is my guy.  Painting


The point of today’s piece isn’t that I’m now an artist…that’s obvious. It’s that art therapy works.

When I started this it was with very uneven, ragged strokes. As I continued, it not only became easier but  you can see the strokes became smoother. Compare the hair to the purple collar.

This was the first time I’ve noticed art working as therapy for me. I have also used music as a therapy technique and I can definitely vouch for that one. You add in a couple of meditation sessions each week and I guess I’m doing “alternative treatments.” Whatever it takes to delay taking traditional meds. The funny thing is I just realized I was doing this as I’m writing this.

I’ve been reading articles where this type of therapy has been tried in much more extreme cases than mine, with remarkable results. I’ll write about those in April, during the 30 blogs for 30 days of Parkinson’s Awareness month.

Oh man…I’m really going to do that? OY!! Now where did I put those water colors.

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    My so called friends think it's time to edit this section. After four years, they may be right, but don't tell them that. I'll deny it until they die! I can't believe I've been writing this blog for four years. It started as a health/wellness thing and over the years has morphed to include so many things that I don't know how to describe it anymore. I really thought this was going to be the final year of the blog but then Donald Trump came along. It looks like we're good for four more years..God help us all! Oh yeah...the biographical stuff. I'm not 60 anymore. The rest you can read about in the blog.

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